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A victory banquet…before the race

By tradition, every contrade participating in the Palio demonstrates its confidence by celebrating its inevitable win with a massive victory “rehearsal” dinner the night before the final Palio race. These banquets happen simultaneously, all over the city. In some of these feasts hundreds of chairs and tables are set in a piazza, in others the chairs and tables line several blocks of the city. It’s usually possible for outsiders to buy tickets to these dinners; expect speeches and proud renditions of the contrade fight song. Preparations start early, because it takes a lot of time to get ready to serve hundreds of dinner guests.

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