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Palio is the name given in Italy to an annual athletic contest, very often of a historical character, pitting the neighbourhoods of a town or the hamlets of a comune against each other. Typically they are fought in costume and commemorate some event or tradition of the Middle Ages, and thus often involve horse racing, archery, jousting, crossbow shooting, and similar medieval sports. Once purely a matter of local rivalries, many have now become events staged with an eye to visitors and foreign tourists.

The oldest extant palio is the Palio di Ferrara, but the Palio di Siena is better known internationally. There are many other palios that are held throughout the various regions of Italy. Here follows an incomplete list:

Palio (gastropod)

Palio is a genus of sea slugs, dorid nudibranchs, shell-less marine gastropod molluscs in the family Polyceridae.

Palio (1932 film)

Palio is a 1932 Italian historical drama film directed by Alessandro Blasetti and starring Leda Gloria, Laura Nucci and Guido Celano. The film is set against the backdrop of the Palio di Siena during the Medieval era.

Palio (2015 film)

Palio is a 2015 British documentary film. Filmed in Siena, Italy, the film documents Palio di Siena, the oldest continually run horse race in the world that is held twice each year (and in the rare case of an extraordinary Palio thrice). It is directed by Cosima Spender, and produced by James Gay-Rees and John Hunt. It was written by Hunt and Spender.

The documentary premiered on 18 April 2015 during the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won Best Editing for a Documentary (Valerio Bonelli). It additionally received a nomination in the category for Best Documentary at the British Independent Film Awards.

The film primarily focuses upon the unlikely emergence of the upstart rider Giovanni Atzeni rising out from the shadow of the seasoned champion, Luigi Bruschelli, nicknamed Trecciolino.

Usage examples of "palio".

The city was full of visitors, for a Palio was to be run in the Campo, the Cardinal Archbishop of Florence was to celebrate pontifically in the cathedral, and our company of actors--not because it was the best, but as being the only one available--was commanded to perform in the theatre before the Podesta, the Gonfalonier and Senate, and all the representatives of Government, of the university, and of the garrison.

A book like The Last Palio, your exquisite little elegy over the Europe of the Versailles Treaty.

She remembered the roaring mob of the Palio rifling this amphitheatre of Renaissance palazzos, the rainbow parade of the contrade, the wild horse race: all stopped, all gone!

To the stranger who has never seen a Palio these little dress rehearsals are richly promising and exciting.

Those last days of June before the first Palio, that middle week of August before the second, are days of growing excitement and tension in Siena.

Everything else at the Palio is in keeping with the flags, daring, brilliant and yet always right, always irreproachably refined.

When she thought of the day at the Palio, the Middle Ages seemed to be passing, often unwatched, outside the windows, and the more immediate and important drama was taking place in the apartment, beside the long table set with crostini and slices of pan forte and silver jugs of wine at which, from time to time, she exchanged words with Rosie Fortinbras.

For this offence the unfortunate husband was flung from the top of the campanile in Siena, during the Palio, by members of the family.

Did she know about the Palio, the horse races that took place each summer in the Campo itself?

It was a festival day, and the Medici and their retinue would take to the streets for the Palio, the great annual horse race.

An apt comparison can be made to the Palio in Siena with its similar loyalties and rivalries.