Palio dell’Assunta 2023, the second act of Palio di Siena 2023, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, will take place on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, in Siena.
The event held on July 2 is called Palio di Provenzano and it’s dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano, while the one held on August 16 is known as Palio dell’Assunta, and takes place in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
A contrada is named after a street, a church or an illustrious family residing on its territory. The 17 contrade of Siena still competing today are Aquila (Eagle), Bruco (Caterpillar), Chiocciola (Snail), Civetta (Little Owl), Drago (Dragon), Giraffa (Giraffe), Istrice (Crested Porcupine), Leocorno (Unicorn), Lupa (She-Wolf), Nicchio (Seashell), Oca (Goose), Onda (Wave), Pantera (Panther), Selva (Forest), Tartuca (Tortoise), Torre (Tower) and Valdimontone (Valley of the Ram).
Only 10 teams out of a total of 17 will participate in the race. The number of the participating contrade is composed from seven that didn’t compete at the previous edition of Palio dell’Assunta, and three drawn from last year’s participants.
The 10 contrade participate in the Palio with a horse assigned by drawing from the 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 is preceded by the Historical Procession (Corteo Storico), a parade of about 700 people representing the 17 contrade and the institutions of the ancient Republic of Siena.
The procession starts in the afternoon in Piazza del Duomo, in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and after parading on the streets of the historical center of Siena, arrives on the beautiful square of Piazza del Campo. The actual race, which follows, consists in circling three times Piazza del Campo.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Palio dell’Assunta 2023 will begin, as usual, early in the morning, and will conclude in the evening. The entire day of August 16 will be dedicated to this spectacular event which is Palio di Siena.
- 7.30 am – Mass of the Jockeys (Messa del Fantino) in the Chapel of Piazza del Campo;
- 9.00 am – Provaccia, the last test race;
- 2.00 pm – Benediction of the horses participating in the race;
- 4.00 pm – The closing of Piazza del Campo;
- 5.00 pm – The beginning of the Historical Procession;
- 7.00 pm – The race begins.
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