Maye Hagen

Maye Hagen

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


The Palio di Asti is much more than just a horse race. It is a historic and highly anticipated event that takes place in the charming city of Asti, Italy. Steeped in tradition and culture, this exciting race has been held for centuries and draws in locals and visitors alike from all over the world. The Palio di Asti is not only a thrilling display of horsemanship, but it also showcases the rich history and heritage of the city. In this article, we will explore eight fascinating facts about the Palio di Asti, giving you a deeper understanding of this exhilarating event. From its origins to the unique traditions associated with the race, get ready to delve into the world of the Palio di Asti and discover why it continues to captivate audiences year after year.

Table of Contents

A Historic Tradition

The Palio di Asti is a historic horse race that has been held in the city of Asti, Italy, for centuries. It dates back to the 13th century and is considered one of the oldest horse racing events in the world.

Celebrated Annually

The race takes place each year on the third Sunday of September, attracting thousands of spectators from around the globe. It is a highly anticipated event that represents the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Fierce Competition

The Palio di Asti is a fiercely competitive race, with ten jockeys representing different districts of Asti. Each jockey rides bareback and tries to navigate the treacherous course to reach the finish line first.

A Trademark Atmosphere

The streets of Asti come alive during the Palio, as locals and visitors alike gather to witness the exhilarating race. The festive atmosphere is enhanced by colorful parades, lively music, and traditional costumes.

Historical Rivalries

The race is not just about horses; it symbolizes the long-standing rivalries between the different districts of Asti. The Palio is an opportunity for these districts to showcase their pride and compete for the coveted victory.

A Challenging Course

The racecourse is a challenging track, winding through the narrow streets and sharp turns of Asti. Jockeys must navigate tight corners and avoid obstacles while maintaining control of their horses at high speeds.

Spectacular Prizes

Apart from the glory of winning, the Palio di Asti offers impressive prizes to the victorious jockey and the district they represent. These prizes often include valuable trophies and rewards.

Rich Cultural Heritage

The Palio di Asti represents more than just a horse race; it is a celebration of Asti’s rich cultural heritage. It showcases the traditions, history, and identity of the city in a thrilling and visually stunning manner.

In conclusion, the Palio di Asti (Horse Race) is an incredible event that combines history, competition, and cultural celebration. This iconic race has captivated audiences for centuries and continues to be a highly anticipated event on the annual calendar. If you ever find yourself in Asti in September, make sure to witness the Palio di Asti and experience the exhilaration and grandeur of this historic horse race.


The Palio di Asti is not just a horse race; it is a vibrant celebration of history, tradition, and community. From its origins in the Middle Ages to its ongoing popularity today, the Palio di Asti continues to captivate spectators and participants alike. The thrilling atmosphere, the skillful jockeys, and the dedication of the Contrade all contribute to the unforgettable experience of this unique event.Whether you are a horse racing enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a fun-filled cultural experience, the Palio di Asti is an event you don’t want to miss. With its rich history, passionate rivalry, and exciting races, it’s no wonder that the Palio di Asti is considered one of the most prestigious horse races in Italy.So mark your calendars and prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Italian tradition at the Palio di Asti. Experience the thrill of the race, immerse yourself in the colorful festivities, and discover the magic that has been enchanting crowds for centuries. Get ready to be swept away by the excitement and beauty of the Palio di Asti!


1. When does the Palio di Asti take place?

The Palio di Asti typically takes place on the third Sunday of September each year.

2. How long has the Palio di Asti been celebrated?

The Palio di Asti has been celebrated for over eight centuries, with its origins dating back to the Middle Ages.

3. What is the significance of the Contrade?

The Contrade are the competing districts of Asti, each with their own unique history, colors, and symbols. They represent the heart and soul of the Palio di Asti, fostering fierce rivalries and a strong sense of community.

4. How many horses participate in the race?

A total of ten horses compete in the Palio di Asti, with each Contrada selecting a jockey to represent them.

5. What is the track like?

The track for the Palio di Asti is a circular course located in the historic center of Asti, spanning around 1,500 meters. It provides a thrilling and challenging setting for the races.

6. How long is the Palio di Asti?

The Palio di Asti lasts for an entire day, with various events and festivities leading up to the main horse race.

7. Can spectators attend the Palio di Asti?

Absolutely! The Palio di Asti welcomes spectators from all over the world, who come to witness the thrilling races and immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of this historic event.

8. Are there any other activities during the Palio di Asti?

Yes, in addition to the races, the Palio di Asti features various cultural events, parades, and concerts, creating a lively and festive ambiance throughout the city.