Florence art guide

The Palio dei Cocchi

One of the obelisks
of th square

Excusez nous mais cette page n'est pas été encore traduite en Français

The square was often used for various celebrations, jousts and other events from the Middle Ages onwards. Grand Duke Cosimo I dé Medici chose it in 1563 for the Palio dei Cocchi or Chariot race which was always held on June 23rd, the eve of the Feast of St. John, the patron saint of Florence. This chariot race, which continued to be run until the mid nineteenth century, was held in the square between the Basilica and the Hospital of San Paolo. Two obelisks of Serravezza marble by Giambologna were set up in 1608 to mark the limits of the race. The obelisks stand on top of four bronze turtles and are crowned with the lily, the emblem of the Florentine Republic.

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