The “Palio of Casole d’Elsa” is a horse race, ridden by jockeys, which is staged every year on the second Sunday of July at 6.30 p.m. in honor of San Isidoro. Its origins are lost in antiquity. The run is carried out, riding sleeping, on a special track that develops uphill and that, therefore, makes the race particularly challenging both for horses that for the jockeys.
This Palio is also called the ” Roman” or “ palio lungo” that is, with a starting point other than that of arrival and therefore the path is not circular like the Palio of Siena.
The week before the Palio is characterized by evening dinners and parties in the 6 participating districts and correspond to: Rivellino, Pievalle, Campagna, Il Merlo, Cavallano, Monteguidi.
Each district has its own colors and coats of arms identification. It’s regulated by a statute, led by a Captain and represented by a President.
The Saturday before the race there is an extraction of the qualifying heats, qualifying races and the combination of horses, who receive the 6 best times, at 6 districts.
On Sunday morning Mass in honor of the Patron Saint Isidore, patron of farmers, and in the afternoon at 6.00 p.m. blessing of the horses in Piazza della Libertà, then move on the racetrack, where, at 6.30 p.m. , will take place the Palio.
The winner district will receive the “drappellone” (also known as prizes or rag), which generally is a flag created by artists specially appointed. In the days following the victory, demonstrations of joy, singing and dinners, open to all, will characterize the life of the district winner and his contrada.
It’s a special event that we love and much appreciate.
We hope that our guests will like it and enjoy with us!