The festival and horse race for the palio of Siena is probably Italy's most well-known palio race, and one of the most exciting. Festivities are already underway for the first race of 2012 which takes place on July 2 in Piazza del Campo, Siena's fan-shaped main square. Before the race, there's a procession through Siena's historic center and flag-throwers, open to the public. If you haven't made plans to go this time, the palio procession and race are held again on August 16 or you can watch this video of il Palio di Siena 2011.
Piazza del Campo photo © by James Martin, Europe Travel