Held on 3rd Sunday in September
The Asti Palio is reputed to be the oldest in Italy, dating back to 1275, it is probable that the origins of the race date to some time after 1000, with established rules from the 13th century onwards - the period of Asti's greatest splendour.
At the heart of the programme are the bareback horse races around the triangular track in the main piazza of Asti. The pageantry that surrounds the event includes over 1,200 inhabitants in full medieval costume representing each of the 21 ‘comuni’ of Asti and the surrounding area.
These 21 comuni parade through the streets to the beat of hundreds of drums and one of the highlights is the flag waving and throwing displays, where huge banners bearing the respective coat of arms of the are tossed high in the air in a fantastic display of colour and noise.
Since 1988 the Palio has been held in the Piazza Vittorio Alfieri in the heart of the city, in an even more impressive and engaging setting.
For many more details please see the Asti Palio website www.palio.asti.it