Published: August 18th 2011August 16th 2011
Pallio= Kentucky derbuy of Italy
Similarities of Pallio to the Kentucky Derby; Both are horse races, both have a lot of history behind them, both have high class grandstands and both have an infield for the rest of the on lookers.
How are they different? There is no alcohol at Pallio, none. Try cutting off the flow of mint juleps and miller light on Derby day and see how that goes. This surprised me A LOT!
So race day… There were more parades and more misinformation on when to get there (would have been fine getting there around 3:30, I got to the sun baked square around noon). They had the same 12 horses and napoleon’s doing a prerace charge, and more cannon firing that I am sure had a meaning- but it was over me.
The race came and went. My porcupines got I think 2nd to last, oh well. About 3 or 4 horses all fell down at the same turn on the last lap or so. The giraffe neighborhood won and orange got 2nd. A huge fight with punches erupted 2 mins after the race on the other side of the square from where I was at. It lasted 5-10 mins, this town takes their racing seriously. After the race I met up with some people from the Florence hostel that came to Siena on an organized day trip put on by the hostel. We followed the winning horse/ jockey into the main Duremo. I am told he was paraded for hours on people backs before going to the small neighborhood church. As a group we grabbed some dinner wandered around a little more and headed back to the hotel. Again, very weird that there was little to no drinking going on everywhere. It seemed like everyone was in AA and walking around with their sponsor in toe- it was very foreign to be around 50,000 people at an event with no road sodas in hand.
Last night in Siena, I am off to……