Italy: Il Palio di Siena Famous equine throwback to a medieval age of jousting and pageantry as mixed-breed horses representing ‘contrade’ (neighbourhoods) partnered by bareback riders (‘fantini’) hurtle around a picture-postcard Tuscan city-centre piazza in front of thousands of frenzied spectators. Fists and whips are much in evidence. It happens twice a year, on July 2 and August 16; apart from 2020, owing to coronavirus.