You don't expect a rodeo in Italy, but a horse contest in Pescia Romana, in the Maremma area, is sort of a version of one!. Called the Palio del Buttero (cowboy), or Palio delle Contrade (the districts), it is a down-home version of Siena's famous palio event, but with some twists.
The eight districts, or contradas, of the town contest each other - each named for an animal: Cinghiale (boar); Fagiano (pheasant); Lepre (hare); Tasso (badger); Toro (bull); Serpente (snake); and Volpe (fox).
Following a parade in old world costumes, there are horseman events and horseback competitions. This area where Lazio and Tuscany meet has a long history of cowboys and "ranching". There are food stands of course, and music and dancing!
The Palio isn't well publicized but is held in the beginning of August annually. Check for dates if you're in the area during that time!

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