2.7.2017 The Palio of Siena: Heralded as the most intense 90 seconds in the world, Il Palio is a horse race held twice a year in Siena, Italy.
The race consists of ten horses, each representing one of the seventeen provinces of Siena. The 17 Contrade are: Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf, Goose. The race is short and the jockeys are fierce, wielding whips known locally as ‘nerbi’, not only to motivate their horses but also to interfere with other riders. The origins of the event are medieval, and the fervor for the races has only grown in the centuries that have followed. It is generally viewed as a culmination of a long-standing rivalry between the contrade of the city.