The Donkey Palio

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October 6th it’s time for the traditional Donkey Palio, that from 1932, is renewed from year to year and that has transformed itself from a popular and folkloristic manifestation to a real festival with great international appeal.

The 2019 edition of the Donkey Palio is scheduled for Sunday 6th October, starting at 3:00 pm, in Piazza Cagnasso. Its origin is very ancient: on 10th August 1275, the day on which the Albesi celebrated their patron, Saint Lawrence, the Asti population went to Alba and made raids and immense damages. Under the walls they organised a horse competition, that  had a double meaning: to shake the Albesi and to prove that they were masters of the field and so they had the right to celebrate the Patron of Alba.

The historical episode, although was not appreciated by the Albesi, confirmed the existence of this particular competition and it was always run with horses during the following centuries, during the patronal feast of the City. The Alba population participate in the Asti competition to demonstrate their ability,  winning it, but Alba was no longer invited and, in 1932, after a further refusal, the city decided to run its own competition with replacing horses with donkeys.

The aim was (and still is) to defuse and diminish the importance of the defeat of 1275: so today, after the great historical parade by the Giostra and the Borghi of the city, the Palio degli Asini is organised just  for fun , entrusting the victory to the randomness and mood of this cute animal.

This historical and popular re-enactment remains an indispensable appointment of the Langhe and Roero heritage, indeed it has been enriched with other medieval events such as the investiture of the Podestà with the presentation of the Palio, the great historical parade along the streets of the city with the participation of the nine city ​​boroughs and over one thousand participants. The first events that initiate folkloristic events are the Capitolo della Giostra and the investiture of the Podestà.

The investiture is the reconstruction of a historical episode through which the medieval figure of the Podestà of Alba allows the villages to run the Palio of the donkeys.

The events continue with the demonstration competition of Pantalera in historical costume, with the Truffle Bacchanal and the Flag Festival (flag-wavers race) taking place throughout the historic city center.


  • ASSIGNMENT OF THE DONKEYS TO THE VILLAGES – from 10 am – Free admission
  • MEDIOEVAL PARADE – starting FROM 2 pm in piazza Michele Ferrero, arrival in piazza Cagnasso. It is held in the streets of the city (Free), Admission with fee to the Palio arena.
  • PALIO DEGLI ASINI – From 3pm to 6pm in Piazza Cagnasso (Admission with fee). Prices: Risorgimento Goldintero grandstand € 35 + € 3 online presale. The Gold tribune allows you to see the Palio from a privileged and exclusive place. Tribunals Vittorio Veneto, Medford, San Francesco, Rossetti, Miroglio, San Paolo, Pertinace, Ferrero. Full price € 25 + € 3.70 online presale; reduced € 20 + € 3 online presale. Reduction valid for the over 65s, children and teenagers up to 15 years. Children under 3 years free entry without occupying the place. Groups (minimum 30 people) € 20 + € 3 online presale.

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The Donkey Palio

Tickets on sale at the offices of the International White Truffle Fair Organisation. From Monday to Friday, from 8.30 am to 12.30 and from 2.30 pm to 6pm.