Last Updated on 2023/07/11
Italy, renowned for its rich history, captivating landscapes, and cultural treasures, is also home to a vibrant horse racing scene that extends beyond well-known events.
Did you know that Italy has the world’s oldest horse racing event? Yes, the Palio di Siena is the world’s oldest horse racing event dating back more than 800 years, which is still held to this day.
Many places like these will offer something new and yet exciting to horse racing fans.
Hidden gems await eager racing enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into a world of passion, tradition, and thrilling competition.
So, while you browse through the Saratoga race course schedule, let’s explore some of the lesser-known horse racing events in Italy that are well worth exploring.
Italy’s Less Popular Horse Racing Events That Are Worth Discovering
Table of Contents
Palio di Siena: A Legendary Tuscan Tradition
We start with the obvious one. We cannot make a statement for being the oldest and one of the most exciting races in the world and not include it in our list.
If you want something new to spice up your passion for horse racing, then Palio di Siena is the perfect race to go to.
Immerse yourself in the heart of Tuscan history as you experience the exhilaration of the Palio di Siena. Held in the stunning medieval city of Siena, this iconic horse race has captivated spectators for centuries.
Ten jockeys representing the city’s historical neighborhoods compete fiercely in a bareback race around the Piazza del Campo.
This has become more of a carnival with plenty of things during these days apart from horse racing.
The passionate atmosphere, colorful costumes, and thundering hooves make the Palio di Siena a must-see event that brings the essence of Italian heritage to life.
Coppa del Mare
Picture a captivating blend of elegance, excitement, and coastal charm, and you have the Coppa del Mare. Held in the enchanting coastal town of San Giovanni Suergiu, this unique event takes place on the sandy shores of Sardinia.
This is a local event that sprinkles a bit of charm into horse racing. You shouldn’t expect a big spectacle like the Kentucky Derby, but it is a great way to spend some time outdoors, enjoy the beautiful landscape and some delicious food.
Jockeys and their spirited mounts gallop along the shoreline, showcasing their speed and agility amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea. The Coppa del Mare offers a thrilling spectacle that marries the beauty of nature with the exhilaration of horse racing.
Gran Premio Merano
Escape to the breathtaking landscapes of South Tyrol and witness the Gran Premio Merano, a horse racing event that seamlessly blends sport and natural beauty.
This is yet another local racing event that attracts many locals and sometimes fans worldwide. It is not because of the high-end Grade 1 thoroughbred racing; it’s because of the charm and beautiful nature of the event that will warm your heart and fuel you with excitement at the same time.
Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Dolomites, this high-altitude race unfolds in Merano, an elegant spa town known for its thermal baths and stunning surroundings. The combination of the majestic mountains, the vibrant autumn colors, and the thrilling races create an ambiance that is truly one-of-a-kind.
Follonica Trotting Race
If you want to go to a place that offers stunning beaches and great resorts during the summer but still wouldn’t want to miss some horse racing action, then Follonica is the right place to go.
The Follonica Trotting Race showcases the speed and skill of harness racing, where horses trot with precision and finesse. The energy and enthusiasm radiating from the spectators create an infectious atmosphere, making this event an undiscovered treasure for racing enthusiasts seeking a unique equestrian experience.