A costumed pageant begins a brief, crowded and totally insane bareback horse race around the city’s main square. The epic horse race of Palio is one of the most important events held yearly in Siena, Italy. This sporting event has deep religious roots and dates back to the Medieval Ages.
A grand parade marks the beginning of the festivities before the main, 90-second race. The first horse across the finish line (with or without its jockey) is declared the winner.
At the end of the race, everyone parties well into the night with drinking, dancing and a special dinner that’s held out in the open air on long, communal tables.