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Located in Siena, Italy, the Piazza del Campo is the large market square in the center of town.

The place itself is a large oval area, with an intricate spoke-styled pavement pattern, suggesting a wheel. This was commissioned in 1349 by the ruling city council to make way for public entertainment to be held in the city. Festivals, concerts, and public executions took place in the city square.

Today the most famous event held in the Piazza is thePalio, a breakneck speed 90 second horse race around the edge of the Piazza. It occurs twice a year between the 17 districts that originally made up the ruling powers of Siena. The night before there is a huge party in the center, and the following day the riders race for glory and honor. Typically the two races take place in July and August.

A website with more info about Siena, the Piazza, and the race is www.comune.siena.it.

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