Palio of Ferrara 2013
From May 4th to 26th, 2013
The Palio was made official in 1279 and rapidly transformed into the symbol of a glorious and fascinating Renaissance. Since then rituals and dates have only changed slightly, celebration in the town has not been altered. A month of celebrations, parades, races and competitions between the eight Contrade [quarters tied to the parish] to win the precious drape dedicated to Saint George, the patron saint of Ferrara. The already warm month of May welcomes the figurants in original costume who parade through the streets of the city centre and the hard-fought flag-throwing competitions in Piazza del Municipio take us up to the spectacular horse race in Piazza Ariostea.
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May 4th, h.21.00
BLESSING OF THE PALII: the Contrade take part to the Holy Mass in the Cathedral, each of them offering a candle to the altar. The bishop blesses the "palii", the prizes for the winners of the four races all'altare.
May 5th, h.9.00 and h 15.00
JUNIOR FLAG-WAVING GAMES
May 11th, h. 21.00
May 12th, h 16.00
OLD GAMES OF THE ESTE FLAGS
The flag wavers of the Ferarra Palio have been masters of their art for hundreds of years and have won numerous international competitions. These competitions also draw a huge crowd of devoted fans. The music, colour and acrobacy of these exhibitions has the effect of carrying the public back in time to the golden days of when the Este family ruled the city.
May 18th, h. 20.30
Corso Ercole I d'Este - Este Castle
The contrade, represented by over 1000 people in Renaissance costumes, parade from the Porta degli Angeli along Corso Ercole I d’Este to the torch-lighted Castle. In the square, before the Duke and the Este court, they enrol in the palio contests and take a solemn oath.
May 24th, h.17.00 and 18.00; 25 May 25th, h. 9.30 and h. 18.00 Piazza Ariostea
May 26th, h.16.00
RACES OF THE PALIO
The races take place every year on the last Sunday of May, to recall the extraordinary Palio that celebrated the crowning of Borso d'Este as first Duke of Ferrara in 1471. The races, preceeded by the historical parade, are four:
Corsa dei putti - Boys' race (Palio di San Romano)
Corsa delle putte - Girls' race (Palio di San Paolo)
Corsa delle asine - Donkey race (Palio di San Maurelio)
Corsa dei cavalli - Horse race (Palio di San Giorgio).
See the programme
Oath of the Contrade 18 May:
Terrace 10,00 euro;
Stand 20,00 euro.
Races of the Palio 26 May:
Stand 25,00 euro.
Places on the grass: free.