Do you know that the Palio of Ferrara is the most ancient one in the world?
And in addition to this, it is peculiar for its kind of ride that is joyful and so different from other warlike palii. In these last there are always enemy that you have to fight with the lance, which is not the case in Ferrara.
The Palio is a very important moment for the city: all the Contrade participate wearing dress of different colours to gain the “palio”, but also and over all, to make party and to remember the Renaissance, a period in which Ferrara was really a capital.
During the events taking place the whole month you can see the participants in original costumes who parade through the streets of the city centre and the hard-fought flag-throwing competitions in Piazza del Municipio lead up to the spectacular horse race in Piazza Ariostea.Today the rides take place the last Sunday of May as tribute to San Giorgio, but the real meaning of that particular date is to remember the famous edition of 1471, ride in honor of Borso who became duke of Ferrara. The chronicles and the statutes have handed down to us the four palii: the green one dedicated to San Paolo for the putte’s ride, the red one of San Romano for the putti’s ride, the white one dedicated to San Maurelio for the asine’s ride and last but not least the yellow or golden one of San Giorgio for the horses’ ride
5 May, 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.6 May, h.9.00 and h 15.00
JUNIOR FLAG-WAVING GAMES12 May, h. 21.00
13 May, 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.19 May, h. 21.00
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.25 May, h.17.00
26 May, h 9.30 and h 18.00
HORSES TESTING27 May, 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).
Full fee: 19/05: gallery 20.00 euros; 27/05: gallery 25.00 euros.