For those interested in which contrade will run in the July 2, 2015 Palio, here is the basic information for the extraction (l’estrazione). Thanks to an acquaintance of ours in Siena, and www.ilpalio.org for this information! I have admittedly had a difficult time finding the date of the extraction on the Web. We are preparing for our third annual study abroad program in Siena this summer, and all of us are curious about which contrade will run. Some of our planned activities may depend upon this knowledge.
Sunday, May 31: Lottery (extraction) in Piazza del Campo to determine the final three contrade that will run in the Palio. Six contrade are already guaranteed to run, because they did not participate in the July race last year. The seventh, Porcupine (Istrice), is penalized for two years following a July, 2013 incident and is therefore banned from the Palio. I believe this means that an additional contrada (four total) will be extracted on May 31, but I cannot confirm this yet. Is it possible that only nine will race?
Guaranteed to run: Torre, Nicchio, Civetta, Valdimontone, Leocorno, Oca (Tower, Shell, Owl, Ram, Unicorn, Goose). Any contrada that did not compete in the previous Palio race is guaranteed a spot the following year.
Coincidentally, these six contrade represent three traditional enemy pairs (Tower-Goose, Owl-Unicorn, Shell-Ram). This could be a relatively contentious Palio this year, with at least three and perhaps more enemy pairs included in the Palio. The case was similar in July, 2013 when four enemy pairs competed.