Palio of Ferrara 2017
Folklore and festivals
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.
Saturday May 13th, h. 9pm
OLD GAMES OF THE ESTE FLAGS
May 14th Piazza Municipale
h. 9 am JUNIOR FLAG-WAVING GAMES
h. 9 pm 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.
Saturday May 20th, h. 9 pm
Corso Ercole I d'Este (from Parco Massari) - Corso Ercole I d'Este, Largo Castello, Corso Martiri della Libertà, Piazza Municipale.
The contrade, represented by over 1000 people in Renaissance costumes, parade from Parco Massari along Corso Ercole I d’Este to Piazza Municiplae. In the square, before the Duke and the Este court, they enrol in the palio contests and take a solemn oath.
Sunday 21st all day
h. 10.00 am and 6 pm Piazza Ariostea HORSES TESTING
h. 9pm Cattedrale di Ferrara 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 27th, h. 10.00 am and 6 pm
Sunday May 28th, h. 4 pm
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 Dukeof 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)