It's not just Siena! Lots of villages have their own races, and so does my home town, Casole d'Elsa!
On the 2nd Sunday of July every year jockeys mount their horses for Casole d’Elsa Palio bareback horse race up the hillside leading to the village. The contest is between the contrade, or town quarters of Casole, and the local villages: Rivellino, Pievalle, Il Merlo, Cavallano, Monteguidi e Casole Campagna.
The first 2 are two halves of the village, Il Merlo and Cavallano are hamlets down the hill from Casole, while Monteguidi is a separate village and Casole Campagna is the countryside around the village.
There are events, a local fair, flag throwing contests, fantastic street meals and barbecues and a general air of festivity; the celebrations spill into the streets, so come along and join the party. Local villages all participate and there is dancing, eating and drinking over the weekend.
Ask us for more details if you want to go - it is very much a turn up and go event if you do decide you'd like to see it so no tickets needed!