Palio "Civetta" Owl 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.)
The location of the Civetta Contrada in Siena is situated immediately to the north of the Piazza del Campo in the centre of the city. Traditionally, its residents were shoemakers. Civetta's symbol is a crowned owl sitting on a branch. Its colours are red and black striped with white. Its motto is: "Vedo nella Notte" (I see in the night).