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.
There is a report of a Palio footrace at Pienza, near Montepulciano, in about 1500 for example.
Such races were made possible by, and developed from, the wealth and freedom that existed in those Northern Italian towns and cities.
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 womens 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.
Marco Polos journeys in China led to the development of commercial exchanges between East and West, and to an ever-increasing use of silk in Western Europe. Venetian merchants traded extensively in silk and encouraged silk growers to settle in Italy.
Prior to its construction by the Romans during the second century B.
C, the Etruscans used the area of the stadium of the Circus Maximus for horse racing.
It is uncertain whether women ran naked; the womens race was described as being open to honest women, but if not even one came forward, then it was open to prostitutes.
This suggests that the women too ran naked; if honest women were too modest, then less modest females were to be included!
The Etruscans dominated Northern Italy, in the years before the rise of the Roman Empire.