To celebrate the year 2000 Jubilee, there were three Palio of Siena horse races instead of the usual two. The first was on the 2nd July, the second on the 16th August and the unprecedented third was staged on the 9th September.
The Palio first took place in 1555 as an act of defiance by the 17 armies based the town. They came together to ride for the prize of the 'Drappellone' and to also demonstrate their independence from the forces of the Medici.
In the 450 years of the event the 'contrada' with the most victories is 'Oca' or Goose who claim 63. Their colors are green and white with a red trim and their motto, fittingly enough, is 'clangit ad arma' or 'call to arms'.
The whole event is more colorful and lively than you can possibly imagine and a genuinely ruthless race both before, during and after, assuming you are the losing jockey.
Of all the annual 'feste' throughout the year the Palio of Siena truly gives a glimpse of how life and entertainment must have been all those years ago.
We've all seen the famous Palio of Siena and the chaos that surrounds that one and quarter minutes of madness on horseback.
Yet the months of preparation and emotions that go into those 75 seconds are arguably what makes the event the success it is.
There are 17 teams from three sectors of the comune of Siena; Città, San Martino and Camollia. They all have fantastic medieval names and each has its own dedicated museum.
We like the Porcupine (Istrice) best for no good reason and suggest you pass by Via Camollia, 87 for the dedicated museum. But, you may like to shout for Unicorn, Caterpillar, Dragon or even the deceptive Snail.
Only one team can win and if fate decides its your turn, well, what a party!