Go back to Italy’s 16th century horse racing festival

People dressed as in the 16th century, participating in the procession and cheering horse racing. For Foligno people, Giostra della Quintana festival is the most anticipated time of year, usually taking place in July.

The festival revived in 1946, inspired by the famous horse race that originated in 16th century Italy. It is held to honor the knights and also a time for them to show their loyalty to the empire and their love for lovers.

The Palio Horse Racing Festival is the most important event in Siena, Italy, taking place from July 2 to August 16 every year, according to Reuters. Here, teams from different parts of the city compete in the Piazza del Campo square.

On the day of the event, the entire city of Siena was all focused on the horse racing. Around 8:00 am in the chapel next to the Comunale Palace, the bishop began to celebrate the “Messa del fantino”, the mass for the race horses.

Initially, there were about 59 teams representing 59 participating regions, but currently there are only 17 participating regions. Each team has its own logo and symbolic color, represented by their costumes and flags. The Palio horse race in Siena is believed to have its roots in the 6th century, and has since become a part of local people’s lives.

Palio is a complex cultural event, with a legal system that has been added over the centuries. Some traditions and customs are known only to team members. The Palio festival takes place over four days and a horse race is held on the last day of the festival.

Before the official race, teams have 6 mock tests in the morning and afternoon. In particular, the knights participating in the competition always ride without saddle. The race starts at around 18h30 to 19h. After the gunshot signal, teams began to nudge their horses on the track.

The first horse to cross the finish line, even if it has no driver on its back, wins the race. In the photo, people rejoice when the team is winning.