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(In this period the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope, the two major powers in Medieval Italy and Continental Europe, were in conflict and thus weakened.) Many of the cities had become self governing and had broken away from the Medieval feudal system.

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The Italian word for palio comes from the Latin word Pallium meaning a rectangular piece of cloth.

The structure of the celebrations remained unchanged: the two races were to be held on the first Sunday of Lent. For the winner of the horse race the prize would be a scarlet palio, and for the rider of the last horse, a leg of pork , while for the runners, a green palio (the “green cloth”), would go to the winner of the footrace and a rooster to the loser.

A very early victory for women’s lib came with the Statuto by Giangaleazzo Visconti, which was approved in 1393. The horse race would now have a velvet cloth for the winner, with still the leg of pork for the last.

Such Etruscan games included races involving the goading of buffaloes, which suggests early bullfighting, and long hazardous races both on horseback and on foot through the city.

Etruscan horses were usually the predominant favourites in the horse races in Ancient Greece.

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