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How to get ready for the next Palio di Siena

Home > News > How to get ready for the next Palio di Siena
Postata il: 8 August 2018

What do you need to know just a few days before the start of the Palio della Madonna Assunta?

Here we have picked some of the most frequently asked questions by tourists, both those who have never attended the Palio, and those who know the event but need some further information.

As there are only a few days left before the race, we remind you that to attend the Palio from the Piazza there isn’t an entrance ticket, while to see the race from the balconies or from the windows overlooking Piazza del Campo you have to pay, but there isn’t a standard cost and online purchase isn’t possible.

To know the rules to be followed and get ready for the event, we recommend reading these questions and answers, valid for all editions of the Palio.

What happens if it rains on the day of the Palio?

If it rains on the day of the Palio the race will not take place, especially to safeguard the safety of the horses and jockeys.

In this case, the green flag on the Palazzo Pubblico will be visible and the race will be postponed to the following day.

Who is not Sienese can attend the Cena della Prova Generale?

Yes, you can have dinner together with the contradaioli, but you need to book and pay a few days before contacting the Contrada chosen for dinner.

What happens on August 16th?

In the morning the sixth trial, called Provaccia, is preceded by the so-called Messa del Fantino, celebrated in Piazza del Campo.

In the afternoon, the blessing of the horse takes place in the church of each of the 10 participating Contrada.

Then, the historic parade starts from to the Prefettura (near the Duomo) towards Piazza del Campo.

In Piazza there will be a show of the carabinieri on horseback, then the historic parade (about 2 hours) and finally the “career”, in other words the race.

Is it possible to attend the historic parade along the route from the Prefettura to the Piazza?

Yes, but you have to stay on the side of the road and do not hinder the passage of the parade. Usually there is a lot of crowds and the streets are quite narrow. The path of the parade before entering the square is: Courtyard of the Prefettura – Piazza del Duomo – via del Capitano – via S. Pietro – Casato di Sopra – Casato di Sotto.

What time does the Historic Parade leave the Prefettura?

Between 3:30 pm and 4:00 pm on August 16th.

How do I enter Piazza del Campo to attend the Palio?

You can enter the square before the entrance of the historic parade from any access, or after the entrance of the historic parade from the passage of Via Duprè.

After entering the square, it’s very difficult to get out before the end of the race, so it is good to carefully consider the opportunity to enter or not and do it only if you decided to attend the Palio to the end.

What are the precautions to be taken when entering the square to attend the Palio?

It is necessary to foresee more than 3 hours of waiting, so be careful. It is forbidden to bring glass, cans and alcohol, and it is highly discouraged to bring backpacks, because they are all checked one by one and therefore the entrance times in Piazza are slowed down a lot.

If possible, leave the backpacks in the hotel. Children under the age of 10 are not allowed, even if they are accompanied.

Finally, the last passage of Via Dupré will close at 5:45 pm on August 16th, so you have to enter the square in time.

Are there bathrooms in Piazza del Campo?


Are there any sellers of drinks?

There are usually three stalls selling fresh drinks and snacks in Piazza del Campo.

Can I bring chairs?

No, it is absolutely forbidden to bring chairs and stools.

What time is the Palio race scheduled?

At 7.00 pm for the Palio of 16th August. The actual start can also take place much later if the Mossa’s operations go on for a long time, as was the case in the last edition of July:

What happens immediately after the Palio race?

The members of the winning Contrada take the Drappellone to the Duomo for thanksgiving to the Madonna (this applies to the race on August 16th); then they take the Drappellone and go around the city, doing a sort of tour to celebrate their victory.

What should a tourist don’t do during the days of the Palio?

Do not try in any way to get closer to the horses.

Do not disturb the contradaioli in moments of greater tension: during the accompaniment of the horse to the trials, in the minutes immediately preceding the race, after the race if they are disappointed or angry.

You mustn’t comment on the tension of the contradaioli before the race, nor protest with impatience if the operations of the Mossa are prolonged for a long time. Furthermore, the tourist mustn’t whistle in disapproval. If some contradaioli ask to move or move away from a certain area, follow their indication.

This is valid both during the four days of the trials, both before and after the race.

Follow these rules to enjoy the most popular event in Siena. All information about the Palio are available online at


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