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The Palio di Siena (known locally as the Palio delle Contrade), the most famous palio in Italy, is a horse race held twice each year on July 2 and August 16 in Siena, in which the horse and rider represent one of the seventeen Contrade, or city wards. A magnificent pageant precedes the race, which attracts visitors and spectators from around the world.

Both horse and rider are dressed in the colours and arms of the Contrade: Aquila (Eagle), Bruco (Caterpillar), Chiocciola (Snail), Civetta (Owl), Drago (Dragon), Giraffa (Giraffe), Istrice (Porcupine), Leocorno (Unicorn), Lupa (She-Wolf), Nicchio (Shell), Oca (Goose), Onda (Wave), Pantera (Panther), Selva (Forest), Tartuca (Tortoise), Torre (Tower) and Valdimontone (Ram).

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Additional Photos by Chrysoula Papagianni (golden) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 224 W: 4 N: 291] (2289)
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