Palio "Nicchio" Shell Plates
The oldest document recording the Palio and the oldest documentations of the Contrade date back to the thirteenth century: Contrada originally meant " a main inhabited street", then "neighbourhood" and finally the association of a district's inhabitants.
The Palio is run twice a year (the 2nd of July and the 16th of August) by 17 contrade: Aquila, bruco, chiocciola, civetta, drago, giraffa, istrice, leocorno, lupa, montone, nicchio, oca, onda, pantera, selva, tartufa, torre.
Nicchio is situated in the far eastern corner of the Siena. Traditionally, its residents worked as potters. Nicchio's symbol is a crowned scallop shell flanked by two branches of coral. Its colours are blue, with yellow and red trim. Nicchio is one of only four nobile (noble) contrade; it earned its title for bravery shown during the Battle of Montaperti against Florence in 1260, when its soldiers led the attack.