About Us

Where did the name Palio’s come from?

palio di siena, italy

053SIENA’S PALIO IS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING SPECTACLES IN THE WORLD! TWICE A YEAR, JULY 2 AND AUGUST 16, THE CITY’S CONTRADAS, OR NEIGHBORHOODS, HOLD A HORSE RACE AROUND THE TOWN SQUARE IN HONOR OF THE VIRGIN MARY. THE CITY LITERALLY PREPARES ALL YEAR LONG FOR THE TWO EVENTS, INVESTING TIME AND MONEY INTO THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD’S JOCKEY AND TEAM.

IT IS AN HONOR TO BE CHOSEN TO RIDE FOR YOUR CONTRADA. THE RIDER CARRIES THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF ACHIEVING VICTORY FOR HIS PEOPLE. WINNING IS THE ONLY RESPECTABLE OUTCOME, AS SECOND PLACE IS LOOKED UPON AS A DISGRACE. EVERY CONTRADA HAS A CAPTAIN, OR CAPITANI, WHO SPEND MONTHS WITH THE RIDER TRAINING, PRACTICING, AND PLANNING FOR THE EVENT.

THE AFTERNOON OF THE RACE IS A BEAUTIFUL EVENT. EACH CONTRADA’S MILITARY DRESSES IN THEIR TRADITIONAL UNIFORMS. THE HORSES ARE BLESSED IN THE CONTRADA’S CHAPEL, AND THE MILITARY PAYS HOMAGE TO THE MONTE DEI PASCHI (SIENA’S BANK), THE NOBLES, AND THE BISHOP. THE TOWN SQUARE IS PACKED, AND THE STREETS ARE FILLED WITH BANNERS AND FLAGS. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL AND PRIDEFUL EVENT, AND THE PATRONS OF SIENA EAGERLY AWAIT IT TWICE A YEAR.

AFTER A TRIP TO VISIT HIS BROTHER IN ITALY, THE INSPIATION FOR PALIO’S PIZZA CAFE CAME TOGETHER AS RECIPES AND IDEAS FROM THE ITALIAN LOCALS WERE EMBRACED. THE FAMILY SPIRIT OF ITALY AND THE RECIPES OF HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF ITALIAN PERFECTION MAKE PALIO’S WHAT IT IS TODAY.