PALIO OF CASOLE D’ELSA

Ancient event followed with great participation by the local population and beyond.

The Palio of Casole d’Elsa is a horse race, ridden bareback by jockeys, which takes place every year on the second Sunday of July at 6.30 pm in honor of the patron saint of the town, Sant’Isidoro.

The race is carried out on a particular track that runs around the hill of San Niccolo‘ with the peculiar characteristic of developing uphill and which, therefore, makes the race particularly complicated for those who dispute it.
It is a “Roman” or “long palio” that is, it has a different starting point from the arrival point and therefore not circular like the Palio of Siena. The week before the Palio is characterized by evening parties and dinners in the districts.

The six districts ( CONTRADAS) that participate correspond to precise territorial divisions: Rivellino, Pievalle, Campagna, Il Merlo, Cavallano, Monteguidi.

Each contrada has unique colors and a symbol that identifies it; it is regulated by a statute, led by a Captain and represented by a President.

The first phase of the Palio provides for the extraction of the qualifying batteries, the qualifying races and the pairing of the horses, which will have reported the six best times, to the six districts.

The second phase begins on Sunday morning with the traditional Mass in honor of the Patron Saint Isidoro, protector of farmers. It continues in the afternoon with the blessing of the horses in Piazza della Libertà, in front of the Collegiate Church of S. Maria Assunta, and then moves on to the race course, where the Palio will be held.

As a prize, the winning contrada of the Palio will be given the drapery, (also called palio or cencio) which is generally a banner made by specially appointed artists.
On Sunday evening, fireworks will celebrate the winner.

WHERE? : IN CASOLE D’ELSA

WHEN? : EVERY SECOND SUNDAY IN JULY