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Martha Bakerjian

The Unusual Palio Della Rana or Frog Races

By April 1, 2013

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When people think of palio competitions, they often think of the famous horse race for the Palio of Siena but many Italian towns hold palio contests. One of the more unusual races is the Palio della Rana, frog races, held in the town of Fermignano, between Urbino and Urbania in central Italy's Marche region. Participants, dressed in medieval costume, each push a cart (similar to a wheelbarrow) with the frog sitting atop a plank and try to cross the finish line with their frog on top of the cart. As is common during palio competitions, there's also a historical procession before the races, fireworks, and food.

The Palio della Rana is usually held the weekend following Easter so this year it's the first weekend of April. Since it's been a very wet March, there should be plenty of frogs! Here's a short video of Palio della Rana 2012 and schedule of events.

More April Festivals and Events in Italy

April 2, 2013 at 3:10 am
(1) Giulia says:

If you happen to be in the area during the two or three weeks after easter, and you think you missed the Palio della Rana, do check the dates because, even if the official date is the “Domenica in Albis” (the Sunday after Easter), it’s often moved to the following or two weeks later because it ALWAYS rains! :)
Ah, and do not miss the vet visiting the frogs before and after the race to make sure they were not slightly squashed during the race!

April 4, 2013 at 4:36 am
(2) goitaly says:

Thanks for the tips Giulia.

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