On the first Sunday in October the nine districts of Alba compete in a donkey race for a silk cloth - the Palio - painted this year by Paolo Galetto
. The Palio race is preceded by a grand procession through the streets of the town with a cast of more than a thousand, including noblewomen, knights, soldiers, commoners and peasants, amidst blasting trumpets, rolling drums, standards and flags.
When they enter the arena in piazza Osvaldo Cagnasso, each district acts out a historic episode relating to the Middle Ages: battles, sieges, acts of banditry, marriages, religious festivals, alliances. The race itself is made up of two heats and a final, while the draw for the donkeys takes place in the morning in piazza Risorgimento.