Palio "Giraffa" Giraffe 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.)
Giraffa is an affluent area of Siena situated to the north-east of the Piazza del Campo. Traditionally, its residents were painters. Giraffa's symbol is a giraffe led by a Moor, and a ribbon bearing the motto "Humbertus I dedit" (Umberto I gave it"). Its colours are white and red.