Palio of the Ancient Maritime Republics
The Palio is an annual boat race between the four Italian Maritime Republics or 'Republiche Marinare' (Amalfi, Genova, Pisa, Venezia), that sailed the seas in the middle ages. It takes place on the Mediterranean sea at Amalfi and Genoa, on the Arno in Pisa and on the lagoon in Venice, to celebrate the history and memories of many great sea struggles, particularly between Venice and Genoa.
The idea for this race or regatta was conceived in 1955 and the first race was held in Genoa. At the opening ceremony of the regatta, a parade is held with people marching in historical costumes decorated with standards of the ancient republics. This is followed by a historical pageant comprising 400 boaters with participants attired in period costumes and carrying flags and festoons, trumpets and drums, riding on horses and sedan-chairs.