Monday, 2 July 2012
: July 2nd is the first of the two annual Palios in Siena, the famous race that does three circuits of the Piaza del Campo with jockeys riding bareback.
This year's Palio del Provenzano, the official title of the July Palio, is dedicated to the 800th anniversary of St Francis of Assisi's first visit to Siena.
There's always huge wheeling and dealing with regards the jockeys, and late on Sunday the Chiocciola or Snail Contrada sacked their original jockey and appointed Amsicora to ride their horse in the final trial and the race.
The contradas that seem to have the best chances this year are Onda (Wave), Bruco (Caterpiller) and Giraffa.
The second Palio is held on 15th August.
There are ten runners each time from the seventeen contradas into which Siena is divided, with the seven who do not run getting automatic entry to the next palio and the remaining three places drawn by lot.
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