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They are decades-long victories and defeats which are still remembered as if they were present. The Palio, which is held on the first Sunday of October, is a goliardic moment, but also a day of strong tourist attraction. Over a thousand participants, including noble ladies, knights, armed soldiers, peasants and farmers, parading along the streets of the city centre in-between fanfare, trumpets and drum rolls alongside banners and flags, before getting excited for the long-awaited Palio.

The historical justification for this dates back to an event happened on 10th August 1275, when the Knights of Asti ran the Palio under the walls of Alba, under siege, causing serious offenses to the Alba inhabitants ; furthermore, by celebrating St. Lawrence, they also seemed to want to seize not only of the city, but also of its Holy patron. The legend says that, to ridicule the affliction the Alba people decided, on that occasion, to run their own Palio, but on the back of a donkey, thus mocking the Asti enemies by identifying them with this animal’s clumsy and definitely not noble mount. Therefore, since 1932, the Donkey Palio has become a way to remember the 1275 events in the utmost respect of the medieval tradition, but especially, with respect for the animals.


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