Il Palio di Asti
Il Palio di Asti
4.5
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles110 reviews
Excellent
71
Very good
21
Average
10
Poor
1
Terrible
7

Eli B
Sydney, Australia3,697 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
As the day of the race draws nearer,the horses are selected,with trial runs at night. Suspense begins to mount with the running of the trials which have a religious intensity. Each day the city gets more crowded, thicker with spectators,more balconies are draped with banners and bold splash of colour. Jockeys are cheered on by members of the retinues that follow them,singing contrada anthems and urge their horses to victory.
The horses are blessed before the jockeys,indicating the degree of sceptisicm about human consistency in this ritual,which is marked by complex financial agreements between jockeys and those loyal to them.
In the parade that precedes the actual event,files of men dressed in brilliant velvet costumes and renaissance wigs,walk by the zebra-striped cathedral and squeeze down the ramped entrance to the campo,with drums and horns playing in the background,a nd circle the square,a slow measured ceremony that is an elegant prelude to the no-holds-barred race that follows.
When the bell on top of the tower begins to clang,the multitudes begin to roar. it must be similar to the noise experienced in the roman theatre when the first lions bounded in,i imagine. one by one,groups from each contrada appear,dressed in brilliant costumes and with musical accompaniment and pages,horsemen dressed as knights in tunics,small boys linked with hundreds of laurel leaves,and the flags wavers whose skill and grace have unmatched elegance.
They flap and wave,fluttering and crackling this way and that way,passing them under their backs,in and out of their legs,ending up with - the splendid trick called 'sban dierata' when they throw them up high in the air like flaming torches,one to another,while the crowd roars ballistic. The air is electric,there is a vibration i have never experienced before,a delirium of sorts, then the great painted wooden chariot,pulled by enormous slow white oxen arrive,carrying The Silken Flag of the Virgin,that will be given to the victor.
There is not a single centimetre of room on the square. every seat in the bleachers is full when shade falls across the square in the golden light of sunset,and the tower casts a shadow like the hand of a giant sundial,and the horses finally appear,prancing stylishly to the starting line,leaping about while the jockeys grab their fearsome 'nerbi',tough small whips that are more likely to be used on each other than on their horses.
BANG ! The starter's torch meets the powder charge and the race is on as the crowds go nuts with frenzy. After less than two minutes bare horses and tough jockeys racing with abandon,it is suddenly over and the victorious contrada members stream onto the track,surround the horse,scoop up the jockey,shower him with hugs and kisses and carry him off in triumph.
Simply an astounding experience that i would recommend you not to miss.
Written April 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rvwr2012
Billericay, UK945 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Friends
We went in the Sunday of the big parade and the horse races, arriving in time to see the exhibition of flag throwing by the participants. What skill! What a spectacle. Then lunch.
Then to the route of the parade to claim a viewpoint about 20 minutes before it started. We were right at the front. The procession was fantastic. 21 teams from different towns and villages in the area all dressed in mediaeval clothes of very high quality with jewels lace braid to make them outstanding, and each team in a unique colour scheme and with its own theme. And in top of that each team with 4 or more flag bearers, waving them in unison or throwing them high in the sky before catching them again every time.
When the procession is over it's time for the horse races. We hadn't paid for a stand seat but instead queued for the free "parterre" standing room in the centre of the course. A 20 minute wait then we were across the track with a good view and plenty of space to enjoy the races.
Written September 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ongs_in_europe
Singapore33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015
The entire town of Asti came to live in the two days we were there. There are parade rehearsals the day before the Palio and then more on the actual day. Have your hotel book the tickets for you beforehand... we took the Clementina seats which were okay.. would preferred to have been nearer to the end/starting point but the tickets would have been more pricey. The corners are great too though you would have to brave the sun through the entire Palio.

One tip is to head into the Palio grounds a good half hour before the Palio starts as it can be difficult finding the exact entrance for your section. We had difficulty getting out of the Parade as roads were blocked and headed into the race grounds along with the rest of the town when the Parade ended and it was chaos!

Written October 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pietro65
Vancouver, Canada53 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Couples
The event is a spectacular display of costumes and fierce competition amongst the riders. It comprises parades, flag-waving displays and of course the ultimate horse race.
The big problem that we encountered was acquiring our tickets before arrival.. We had sent an email to the Asti Association in charge of organizing the Palio many months before the event. We were told that the tickets would not be available for sale until August. When we tried to purchase the tickets, we were told that the only acceptable method of payment was a bank transfer, and that we would have to bear all of the costs of the transfer. Credit card payments or Paypal were not acceptable. We arranged to transfer the funds from our bank and paid the processing fees at our end. When we went to pick up the tickets in Asti, we discovered to our unpleasant surprise that we also had to pay the Asti Associations bank charges which were exorbitant. These bank charges added approximately 25% to the costs of the tickets which were very high to begin with.
We were also disappointed with the tickets which were allotted to us. We had tried to purchase the tickets six months before the event, and yet we were given tickets behind an entrance way into the stadium which impeded our vision of the Corteo (parade) and the horse race as people kept coming and going to and from the grandstand.
We would suggest that anyone wishing to attend this event not purchase their tickets in advance but pick them up upon arrival, and check to make sure they know exactly where the seats are situate.

This unpleasant experience really provided a negative effect on our enjoyment of what should have been a very pleasant and exciting event.
Written September 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MK F
Seattle, WA177 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Solo
Asti's Palio is the oldest in Italy. There are events from the Thursday prior if you want to avoid the crowds or are unable to make it on the weekend. I saw the children's parade on Saturday which was charming. They were all dressed up, proudly marching and waving their flags. Some were barely larger than the flags they waved, but they clearly practiced their flag waving. Another bonus if you go on Saturday is you can watch the trials for free, if you can manage to snag one of the seats. I went right after the parade finished.

Sunday is the big day with larger crowds. The ASTA flag throwers put on a spectacular, clearly well practiced display of their flag throwing abilities. The grande parade starts with the winner from last year marching first. Then each of the areas has their participants. Different areas had different aspects they featured in their displays.

Even if you do not watch the actual races, you can see the horses early in the morning when they are blessed at the churches.

Asti is a 30 - 60 minute train ride from Torino. Go early, enjoy the town and the Palio festivities.
Written October 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hart0304
London, UK70 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Friends
The costumes in the parade are spectacular. I have never seen such effort put into every detail of a procession, it was 100 degrees so I felt sorry for those wearing fur and heavy velvet. There is a distinct lack of information about the day when you arrive, it's best to just follow the crowds. We thought that on the busiest day of the towns year that restuarants would be open all day but that was not the case! Didn't get tickets to the actual horse race but the atmosphere was great
Written September 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

miguelchicago
Chicago, IL84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
Beautiful town to visit and just walk around and enjoy the local wine and food, it is not a place with many foreign visitors, but you will surprised by some of the locals and their wineries in the area. Note this is a location that a car is a must, and do not consider traveling by train or bus. Enjoy the freedom of your own time with your own pace while visiting. We enjoyed the quaintness of this hidden gem
Written June 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gregory H
Torino29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2013 • Family
ok, 2013 a disaster!

I have friends in Asti, but still hard to get tickets - local tourist board are badly organised, staff dim...

Lots of good interesting fun pre-events 2-3 days before Palio, little publicity!
Actual race Sunday, huge processions, 1000 locals in medieval costumes, fabulous!

Race start a shambles, bad 'starter' and no gates...sadly two horses died, no need.....

God likes horses....huge thunderstorm, very heavy rain, race cancelled!

Re-run next day Monday, but not good for tourists? Stands full of locals, but great fun! Race very good, three preliminaries/semi-finals, one final.

Oh: no photos after, publicity, no videos, dvds....tourist board clueless, jobs-worths?
Written November 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julian Jankavish
Napa Valley, CA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
It is a conventional festival of medieval foundation. It turned into originally held in may additionally throughout the festivities of client saint San Secondo, however considering the fact that 1967 it takes location on the first Sunday of September
Written September 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cemse
ISTANBUL248 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
We had amazing day in Asti being there the first Sunday in September.
From 10 o'clock in the morning through the night the city glowed with activities in different squares. Women, men and children in traditional costumes prepared for the "corteo" in the Piazza Cattedrale and then the amazing procession with 1200 participants started throughout the historic center.
We bought tickets for the palio before our arrival and although we had no idea about the Quarters of Asti taking part in Palio, it was a great excitement to watch.DON'T MISS IT!!! It is less touristic and more interesting then the Palio in Sienna.
Written September 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Il Palio di Asti - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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