Each summer, the annual Palio of San Magno is held in Anagni. It is usually held on a Saturday and it is a spectacle not to be missed. The stage is set in Piazza Innocenzo III, where riders representing districts of the region compete on horseback for the palio of the year. All dressed in medieval costumes which represent their own regions, they look magnificent.
Before the palio commences, the riders and their magnificent horses weave through the town in a fine procession, with flag throwers and bands leading each regional section.
The riders and horses compete in four contests, the objective being to spear a ring at the end of a long gallop and the rider who spears the ring in the fastest time wins the point. After each heat the ring is replaced by a smaller one. It is extremely fast, competitive and exciting. The mayor announces the winner of each heat and the scores are recorded on a large board.
There are cheers, clapping and great support from all the members of each district. Children are dressed in medieval costumes to match the riders. The atmosphere can only be described as electric.
Conveniently situated in the square is a wonderful bar, where we were fortunate enough to find a table and we managed to watch the whole spectacle with a bottle of prosecco and the very tasty nibbles they serve. It was a very warm sunny day with blue skies – a perfect way to spend an August afternoon!