Palio "Onda" Dolphin Plates
In the Middle Ages, Siena was partitioned into seventeen neighborhoods. Each one was represented by an unique emblem and a colorful banner. These neighborhoods developed a tradition of fierce rivalry that continues today as The Palio, a competitive bareback horse race that takes place on July 2 and August 16 every year in the city's main piazza Piazza del Campo in honor of the Virgin Mary.
The Contrade are: Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf, Goose (aquila, bruco, chiocciola, civetta, drago, giraffa, istrice, leocorno, lupa, montone, nicchio, oca, onda, pantera, selva, tartufa, torre.)
Onda runs south from the Piazza del Campo in the centre of Siena. Traditionally, its residents were carpenters. Onda's symbol is a dolphin. Its colours are white and sky blue and the contrada describes itself as "The colour of Heaven, the force of the sea" Onda has the title of contrada capitana (captain contrada) because in the past its soldiers mounted guard at the Palazzo Pubblico.