Palio di Ferrara – The medieval festival in photos and video

Palio di Ferrara - Column in Piazza Ariostea

It was like a weight holding us down, preventing us from moving. They called it the hottest place in Europe, I later learned after reading the papers. Ferrara, serving as the host city for an annual tradition dating back to 1279, brings a number of towns together for the Palio di Ferrara. In colored vestments and heavy armor, participants paraded down the main street. How could they survive in this heat when I can barely lift an arm for my Caffè Shakerato, I wondered, already perspiring. Thankfully, they managed, and we were presented with an amazing series of colorful visuals, flag dances and marching bands.

Reserved seats at the racetrack within Piazza Ariostea meant we had the perfect view of the games. First the boys and girls ran, then a bunch of donkeys. (Have you ever actually seen a donkey in person before? They’re huge!). Sadly, we missed the horse race as they had to tender the ground over and over for safety reasons. By then it was late and we had to head back to take our own ride out of town.

The Palio di Ferrara was an unforgettable experience. Despite the heat and the fact that my time at BlogVille (and in Italy) was winding down, I had a magical time.

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Palio di Ferrara - Girl in Costume in Archway

Palio di Ferrara - Girl in Costume

Palio di Ferrara - Este Castle

Palio di Ferrara - Girl on Bike

Palio di Ferrara - Man in Costume

Palio di Ferrara - Castello Estense and Statue

Palio di Ferrara - Palazzo

Palio di Ferrara - Parade

Palio di Ferrara - Parade

Palio di Ferrara - Two Bicyclists

Palio di Ferrara - Parade

Palio di Ferrara - Parade and Flag Bearer

Palio di Ferrara - Parade Maidens

Palio di Ferrara - Parade Flag Bearers

Palio di Ferrara - Race Winner in Piazza Ariostea

Palio di Ferrara - Sunset