The Palio is a historical secular tradition strictly connected with the origin of the Contradas of Siena (districts into which the town is divided). “Piazza del Campo” is still used today for the well known Palio horse race which is one of the most famous popular Italian manifestations. It takes place every year on July 2 and August 16. The Palio is run to celebrate the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary near the old houses that belonged to Provenzano Salvani.
(source: Palio di Siena)