Tuscany’s Palio di Siena horse race is world famous. 10 jockeys ride mixed breed horses 3 times around Siena’s iconic Piazza del Campo as around 40,000 locals and visitors watch on from the sidelines. And the levels of anticipation and excitement are stratospheric. There’s just one slight problem – there are 17 contradas or districts in Siena but only 10 can compete in the race. So before each Siena Palio – one on 2nd July and one on 16th August – there is a draw to decide which contradas will take part. After the Lupa or Wolf contrada won July 2016’s Palio, lets take a look at which contradas are racing on 16th August 2016?
Estrazione – which contradas are running in the Siena Palio on August 16th 2016?
The draw to select the competing contradas for August’s Palio takes place in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico town hall no later than the second Sunday in July (or on the last Sunday in May for July’s Palio). The city’s Mayor and the captains of all 17 districts attend the ceremony inside whilst many contradaioli or Senese citizens wait outside in the Piazza del Campo to watch which flags will be flown from the windows of the town hall, signalling a contrada’s selection. It’s a tense moment for all involved.
This year the estrazione took place on Sunday 10th July so here are the 10 contradas selected to run in Siena’s Palio runners for August 16th 2016.
Which contradas are racing in the Siena Palio on 16th August 2016?
The draw took place in 2 parts. First the 7 contradas that didn’t run in the August 2015 race get an automatic pass to this year’s Palio. Those 7 contradas, drawn in order, are –
- Leocorno – Unicorn
- Bruco – Caterpillar
- Aquila – Eagle
- Pantera – Panther
- Drago – Dragon
- Civetta – Owl
- Giraffa – Giraffe
Next up is the draw to select the final 3 lucky contradas. These are drawn from the 10 contradas that ran last August and are selected by pre-selected contrada captains picking coloured balls out of a tombola. For 16th August 2016 the final 3 contradas competing will be……
- Tartuca – Tortoise
- Nicchio – Seashell
- Lupa – Wolf, July 2016’s winner
So there you have it! We now know the 10 contradas that will compete in Siena’s historic Palio horse race in August 2016. Who will you be supporting? Will you be there? Leave me a comment and let me know what your favourite Italian event is. On your marks, get set, goooo!
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