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Italy’s Strangest Palio

Category: Activities & Experiences | 01.15.2019

We have all heard of Italy’s famous Palio horse race (see A Perfect week in Tuscany) which takes place twice a year in the historic city of Siena. Not so well known, however, is the famous Frog Palio in the charming spa town of San Casciano dei Bagni in Tuscany! It is probably Italy’s strangest palio.

On the 12th of August, 2019, the annual Palio di San Cassiano (in honor of the patron saint of the town, St. Cassiano) will see four town districts come together to compete in a series of games and fanfare all leading up to the main event, a lively and intense frog race. Bullfrogs on wagons will be steered through the pretty town by local men in Renaissance costume, racing towards the finish line hoping to be declared the winner of the San Cassiano Palio!

One past guest was lucky enough to attend the Palio di San Cassiano in 2012 and was accompanied by one of our fantastic Local Hosts, Liz:

“We spent the whole day in San Casciano dei Bagni with our wonderful Local Host, Liz, who guided us to the village, helped us with parking, toured us around town, took us for ice cream, explained the incredibly long history of the race, and genuinely made sure we had a ball enjoying this magical, event filled day. We were entertained by this unique festival of pageantry and competitions, all culminating in a frog race! I could almost guarantee that our group were the only non-locals that day. Our kids will never forget the Frog Race, and we will always remember that it was with Hosted Villas and our fabulous Local Host, Liz, that we were able to experience this region as we did. As a local.”

Interested in seeing the Frog Palio for yourself? We can make it happen with a stay at one of our gorgeous Tuscan villas.

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