Palio de Legnano, Legnano, Milan, Lombardy, Italy

The Palio di Legnano is a popular event that takes place every year in Legnano to commemorate the eponymous battle fought on May 29th, 1176 between the troops of the Lombard League and the imperial army of Frederick I ‘Barbarossa’. The territory of Legnano is divided into 8 districts of historic challenge, the last Sunday of May there’s a horse race that closes the event, each of the eight districts is governed by a captain, a Grand Prior and a Castellana. Captains gathered in the College of Captains and the district, which has the function of coordinating the activities, actions and intentions of those. This college is chaired by the Grand Master of the Order of the captains and district. During the year, the districts, organize festivals, cultural events and folklore. The organization of the Palio is run by the Judicial Council of the Palio, which is formed by the Grand Master of the Order of the captains and district president, the Legnanese family and the Chief of Justice; who is the mayor of Legnano chairing the sessions who decrets, through a contract, the official start of the Palio. The historical parade through the streets of the city is formed by more than 1,200 participants in medieval costume. The show opens with a procession formed by the municipal bands that play music of military nature. Their members wear the uniform of their belonging musical body and carry the banner of the local council and it’s the one from Legnano which closes this part of the parade. The central part of the parade consists of all districts in medieval outfits, each of which travels along a theme; the neighborhood that closes this part of the parade is the one who won the Palio the year before. The historical parade then ends with the passage of the Northern League and his entourage that consists, among others, the death knights, ending at the stadium Giovanni Mari. The winner of the horse race; the district; has the right to maintain, in the church that is referenced, the Cross of Aribert of Intimiano, a plaster sculpture reproducing the cross of medieval origin; maintained by the district winner until the next edition of the Palio.


In the morning, the celebration begins with a mass in Saint Magno Square, with the captains of the Palio, the benediction of horses and jockeys who will run the Palio .
In the afternoon, you can watch the parade through the streets of the city.
The race takes place in the evening. Adults pay a ticket, but children under 6 years do not pay .
On the evening of Friday before the race, the Provaccia occurs, it’s a race that takes place with the same regulations of the Palio, with the participation of emerging jockeys. The Provaccia is preceded by another race in which take part, the young jockeys who ride ponies.

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