• About

    Palio di Ferrara 2023 will take place on Sunday, May 28, 2023, in Piazza Ariostea, in Ferrara.

    The Palio of Ferrara is a competition between the eight districts of Ferrara, four districts within the medieval walls – San Benedetto, Santa Maria in Vado, San Paolo and Santo Spirito, and four villages outside the walls – San Giacomo, San Giorgio, San Giovanni and San Luca.

    During the event, four races are held – the girls’ race dedicated to San Paolo (Saint Paul), the boys’ race dedicated to San Romano (Saint Romanus), the donkeys’ race dedicated to San Maurelio (Saint Maurelius), and the horses’ race dedicated San Giorgio (Saint George).



    According to tradition, the people of Ferrara, to celebrate the victory obtained in 1259 by Azzo VII d’Este against Ezzelino III da Romano, ran on donkeys and horses through the streets of the city.

    The races were institutionalized in 1279, to take place on April 23, for the Saint George’s Day, patron saint of Ferrara, and on August 15, on the occasion of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Later, the Palio began to commemorate the moment when Borso d’Este was appointed duke by Pope Paul II and returned to Ferrara on the last Sunday of May, 1471.

    The races were held uninterruptedly until the 17th century, then were partially replaced by other parades, and little by little the tradition was lost.

    At the beginning of the 1930s, Renzo Ravenna, mayor of Ferrara between 1926 and 1938, decided to bring back the ancient tradition of the Palio. Starting with 1933, the Palio was held once again.

    With the beginning of the Second World War, the event was suspended, and was resumed almost thirty years later, in 1967.



    The month of May, which precedes the Palio, is full of celebrations, parades and competitions between the eight districts of Ferrara.

    Saturday, May 13, 9.00 pm:

    • Magnificent procession and presentation of the Champions.


    Sunday, May 14, 6.30 pm:

    • Presentation and Blessing of the Palios and Offering of the Candles.


    Saturday, May 20, 3.00 pm and 8.30 pm:

    • Youth Flags Games and Ancient Flags Games.


    Sunday, May 21, 4.00 pm:

    • Youth Flags Games and Ancient Flags Games.


    Sunday, May 28, 3.30 pm:

    • Historical parade;
    • The Palio.


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