Saturday, July 2, 2011 11:24 pm EST

Piazza del Campo in Siena during the Palio
The Palio takes place in Siena, Tuscany on July (luglio) 2nd and August (agosto) 16th every year (ogni anno). Its historical records indicate it has been taking place since the sixth century (secolo).

The Palio ia a horse race (corsa di cavalli) in the heart (cuore) of the city (cittą) in the Piazza del Campo, where the 17 (diciassette) various Sienese contrade (areas in which the city is divided) challenge each other.

There are 17 contrade and each have different names: Eagle (aquila), Snail (chiocciola), Wave (onda), Panther (pantera), Forest (selva), Tortoise (tartuca), Owl (civetta), Unicorn (leocorno), Shell (nicchio), Tower (torre), Ram (valdimontone), Caterpillar (bruco), Dragon (drago), Giraffe (giraffa), Porcupine (istrice), She-Wolf (lupa), Goose (oca).

Each contrada has its own unique emblem and colors and represents an area of the city.

Today's winner was the contrada of the Goose.

The Palio is much more than a simple (semplice) event for the Sienese, it actually is a large part of their lives since the time of their birth (nascita). Each person belongs (appartiene) to a contrada, participates (partecipa) in the life (vita) of it and the organization (organizzazione)of the palio throughout the entire year. The Sienese live (vivono) the palio with great passion (passione) and you'll certainly be able to see (vedere) this if you have the chance to attend one of the races.