The Palio dei Somari takes place every year on March in Torrita di Siena. It was born in the 60s from an idea to establish a popular festival in honor of the patron saint of the San Giuseppe carpenters. being the woodwork much practiced since always.
The race is representated by a donkey; that was chosen as a symbol for the humbleness and above all tirelessness of the animal.
The current prize is run by eight districts: from the four gates of the ancient medieval castle of Torrita di Siena: Porta a Pago, Porta a Sole, Porta Gavina and Porta Nova (which in the first edition were the only competitors) and the four districts corresponding to the four districts of the country: Stazione, Refenero, Le Fonti and Cavone.
Each district has its own coat of arms, of colors and figures, dating back to the mid-fourteenth century; the lady, the prince, the bishop, the army, the spaghetti, the duct, the flag bearers and tambourines, all dressed with rich and precious embroidered costumes, so perfect and finished in every single detail, that really seem to come from the Middle Ages.
After parades and flag-wavers, the eight districts compete on the field set up in the open space of the “Gioco del Pallone”, outside the ancient city walls of Torrita.