On Saturday we went with Marco and Zio and Giancarlo to Giancarlo's town of Rociglione. In Rociglione they have a "palio" which is a horse race with traditions dating back to the Middle Ages. It is very similar to Siena's famous Palio. We arrived in time to get decent viewing places. The horses are run without riders over the cobblestones of the historic city center. Here you can see mattresses put up against the shop windows in case the horses slip (which they do).
The marching band leads the parade as the horses are brought to the post.
Every "scuderia", (roughly equivalent to neighborhood) of the city enters two horses. There are a total of three races run, each with about 5 or 6 horses. This was my favorite one.
Another really pretty one.
And they're off! A picture of the first race.
The second race. It was funny...one of the horses decided to take the day off and just loped around the track.
Leaving Rociglione by night, we headed out to eat.
Giancarlo led us to a great restaurant where we enjoyed a smashing meal.