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© Francesco Cito / Panos Pictures..Siena, Tuscany, Italy. The Palio. ..The party goes on late into the night after the race...Twice each summer, the Piazza del Campo in the medieval Tuscan town of Siena is transformed into a dirt racetrack for Il Palio, the most passionately contested horse race in the world. The race, which lasts just 90 seconds, has become intrinsic to the town's heritage since it was first run in 1597.