he most infamous manifestation organized in Siena is the Palio horserace. It takes place every July 2nd and August 16th. The various neighborhoods of Siena, called 'Contradas', challenge each other in the passionate horserace that takes place in the Piazza del Campo. Siena is divided in 17 contrada: Aquila (the Eagle), Burco (Catepillar), Chiocciola (Snail), Civetta (Owl), Drago (Dragon), Giraffa (Girafe), Istrice (Porcupine), Leocorno (Unicorno), Lupa (she-wolf), Nicchio (Shell), Oca (Goose), Onda (Wave), Pantera (Panther), Selva (Forest), Tartuca (Tortouse), Torre (Tower), Valdimontone (Ram). Each Contrada has its own coat of arms, unique colors and is located in a well-defined area in the city. You can always understand in which contrada you are in by observing the various flags and coats of arms that are displayed around you and throughout the city. The Palio horserace has ancient beginnings. In fact, there are documents demonstrating horses in Siena and in the race since the 16th century. The Palio horserace is more than just a simple manifestation for the people of Siena. It has been part of their lives since birth. Every year the contrada members, 'contradaioli', participate in the Contrada lifestyle, activities and the organization of the Palio. The Sienese people are very intense and passionate about their Palio. If you have the opportunity to attend a race you'll notice how they are transported by their passion.