“Il Palio di Ferrara” is the oldest “Palio” in the world dating back to 1259. This event takes place every year to recall the extraordinary Palio that celebrated the crowning of Borso d’Este as the first Duke of Ferrara in 1471. It is a month of celebrations where the town’s eight “Contrade” (8 teams divided by living areas) compete in flag-throwing competitions, dances, parades and horse races to win the precious banner dedicated to Saint George, the Patron Saint of Ferrara.
The following events are all free to watch except for the actual Palio races in Piazza Ariostea on Sunday 2nd June.
Programme of Events:
Friday 3rd May
The Blessing of the Games
San Francesco Church, Via Terranuova at 9 p.m.
Sunday 5th May
Junior Flag-waving Competition
Piazza Municipale, 3 p.m.
Saturday 18th May
Historical Flag- waving Competition
Piazza Municipale, 8.30 p.m.
Each team puts on a flag waving exhibition accompanied by Renaissance style music. This is well-worth going to. Get there in plenty of time to get a good view.
Sunday 19th May
Piazza Municipale, 8.30 p.m.
Historical Flag-waving Competition
Saturday 25th May
Historical Street Parade at Night
The procession starts at 9 p.m.
An incredible historical procession of all the ‘Contrade’ starts from Porta degli Angeli and proceeds down Corso Ercole I d’Este, Largo Castello, Corso Martiri della Libertà to Piazza Municipale. It feels as if you have stepped back in time! You can stand on the streets and watch the procession for free or wait in Piazza Municipale for its arrival where each team enrols in the games and swears an oath to the Duke. It is one of the highlights of the Palio events as so many people in Renaissance costume take part and parade the streets by torchlight. Make sure you arrive there in plenty of time to get a good view.
These trials take place in Piazza Ariostea on Friday 31st May & Saturday 1st June at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m. On Saturday there are also the donkey trials at 4 p.m.
Sunday 2nd June
The Palio of Ferrara
Races start in Piazza Ariostea at around 4 p.m.
The historical parade sets off from the Castle at 3 p.m. and goes down Corso Ercole I d’Este, Corso Porta Mare until it reaches Piazza Ariostea.
Ticket prices for Sunday 2nd June are:
€10 General admission (sitting on the grass without a reserved seat)
€30 Reserved seat in one of the stands
(There is a charge of €1.50 for tickets which are bought in advance)
You can buy tickets in advance from the following news agencies:
Tabaccheria Segnali di Fumo – Corso Martiri della Libertà (in the city centre)
Tabaccheria Al Doro – Via Padova, 7 (Go under the railway bridge, past the Bertelli petrol station and it is on the large corner in the same building as the post office)
You can also buy tickets from this website: www.ticketland2000.com
If you would like a seat, it is advisable to book a ticket in advance. If you are happy to sit on the grass, like most people do, then you can buy a ticket on the Sunday at one of the entrances to Piazza Ariostea.
Palio Headquarters: Via Mortara, 98. (0532 752 207) firstname.lastname@example.org