THE OLDEST PALIO IN THE WORLD
It was the year 1259, when, to celebrate Azzo the Seventh “Novello D’Este” – the marquis of the city – and his victory over Ezzelino da Romano at Cassano D’Adda (near Milan), the first palio of Ferrara was held.
20 years later, in 1279, this spectacular popular tradition was made on of the City’s institutions. The statutes stated that the Palio be held twice a year: on 23rd April in honour of St. George the patron saint of Ferrara, and on 15th August in honour of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The first prize for the winner of the race was in fact a “palio”, or piece of cloth. These “races for the palio” have been immortalised in the frescoes in the “Salone dei Mesi” (Room of the Months) in Palazzo Schifanioa, in the archives of the time and in Ariosto’s “Orlando Furioso”.
Benediction of the Palii and candles are offered • The Ducal Court and the eight districts, in majestic processions composed of musicians, flagwavers, dames, knights, pages and men-at-arms, arrive at the Cathedral for the solemn Blessing of the Palio.
Sunday 5 May 2013 · 9am and 15 pm– Piazza Municipio
Youth Flag Games
Saturday 11 May 2013 · 9pm – Sunday 12 May 2013· 4pm – Piazza Municipio
Ancient Games of the Estensi Flags • Flag Dancers and musicians compete, contending in the ancient flag-throwing games of the Estensi court.
Saturday 18 May 2013
9pm – Corso Ercole I° d'Este - Historical Procession. Piazza Castello · 9.30pm – Registration of the Districts in the Palio games • In the evening, a majestic procession, with more than one thousand three hundred participants, crosses the city and enters the Estense Castle, arriving at the adjacent square where the registration ceremony and the presentation of the champions taking part in the Palio races are held.
Friday 24 May 2013 · 10.00am and 6pm – Saturday 25 May 2013 · 9.30am and 6pm
Obligatory tests of the horses to the canopies
Sunday 26 May 2012 · 4pm – Piazza Ariostea
PALIO RACES • The culminating event of the Palio of Ferrara, where the traditional putto (local dialect for male and female infants), donkey and horse “races” are held.
TRIBUTE TO DUKE 2013
Sunday, March 10 - 11:30 am - Castello Estense
Sunday, March 17 - 11:30 am - Castello Estense
Monday, April 1 - 11:30 - Castle Estense
Sunday, 7 April - 11.30 - Castle Estense
Sunday, April 14 - 11:30 am - Castello Estense
Sunday, April 21 - 11:30 am - Castello Estense
Sunday, April 28 - 11:30 am - Castello Estense
Wednesday, May 1 - 11:30 - Castle Estense