The Italian Almanac

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the Ferrara palio

Italian News - June 3

The Ferrara Palio, which has been held in Ferrara, Italy, since 1729, may become a thing of the past.

The event has claimed the title of "most beautiful palio in the world," but traditionally it has also been one of the most dangerous. This year's race -- earlier this week -- resulted in the deaths of three horses and numerous injuries to racers and spectators alike.

A longstanding tradition in Ferrara, the Palio is a no-holds-barred event mired deep in tradition, as seen through the dress and actions of its riders. While most would seem to view the incidents at this year's race as typical and thus not noteworthy, Italy's major animal rights groups - the Anti-Vivisection League and Animalisti Italiani - want the palio stopped.