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Out of Siena's 17 contrade/neighborhoods the following seven didn't participate in last year's July Palio and were therefore already designated to participate in the Palio della Madonna di Provenzano on the 2nd of July 2013: Valdimontone (ram), Pantera (panther), Oca (goose), Civetta (owl), Istrice (porcupine), Lupa (she-wolf) and Torre (tower). 

Yesterday Leocorno (unicorn), Onda (wave) and Nicchio (shell) were drawn as the extra three contrade that can join in to make up the total of ten neighborhoods, which can participate in each race.

According to my Tuscan native we're in for one hell of a Palio, as most of Siena's historic enemies will be present at the race. Oca and Onda vs Torre (the tiny contrada della Torre is the only one with two enemies), Civetta vs Leocorno, Nicchio vs Valdimontone, Istrice vs Lupa.

Giraffa (giraffe), Chiocciola (snail), Drago (dragon), Tartuca (turtle), Selva (forest), Bruco (caterpillar) and Aquila (eagle) can't participate in the Palio on the 2nd of July, however Aquila, Bruco, Chiocciola, Lupa, Nicchio, Oca and Torre are already designated to run this year's August Palio. This leaves us with four contrade  - Drago, Selva, Giraffa and Tartuca - who risk not running any Palio at all this year, unless they are lucky enough to be one of the three drawn to join the already mentioned contrade above in the race on the 16th of August. 

Sounds all far too complicated? Never mind. You'll enjoy the famous bareback horse race and the atmosphere in Siena even if you don't have the faintest idea of what is exactly going on. And as we still have to wait for another month, here's the video of the July Palio 2012, which was surprisingly streamline and clearly won by the Onda neighborhood. 

July Palio 2012: Watch how Onda's fantino (jockey) understandably 
 rather not get off his winning horse by the end of the  race...

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