The Palio which takes place on July 2 is known as Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, and the Palio from August 16 is called Palio dell’Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary.
PALIO DELL’ASSUNTA 2018, held in honour of the Assumption of Saint Mary, will take place on August 16, with only 10 contrade out of 17. The number of the participating contrade is made from seven that did not attend the Palio of the previous year, in August, and three drawn from those that participated the year before.
The 10 contrade participate in the competition with a horse that is assigned by drawing from horses physically fit for the race. Eligibility tests and the assignment of the horses take place 3 days before the Palio, on August 13. Before the Palio, there are 6 test races, during which the jockey gets familiar with the horse.
The race of the Palio is preceded by a historical procession, named Corteo Storico, which includes over 600 participants representing the 17 Contradas and the institutions of the ancient Republic of Siena. The procession starts from Piazza del Duomo, in the afternoon, and winds through some streets of the city center before parading in Piazza del Campo. The actual race consists in circling three times the Piazza del Campo.