Siena’ Palio is simply an amazing event that everybody has to see once in a life. Enjoy Essence of Italy program, that includes the whole experience, from the Palio’s Eve to the final race.
Each and every person in Siena belongs to the so-called "Contrade": the town boroughs, of which there are 17. The contrada form a colorful and lively picture of Siena, and proudly bear their medieval names, such as Turtle, Porcupine, Wave, Dragon and many others.
On August 15th, the day before the race, every contrada organizes a dinner along streets and squares for its comrades… a huge culinary festival based on delicious Tuscan dishes, where you can perceive how each contrada is like a loving family for its members. In the meantime, the horse running for every contrada is blessed by a priest during a solemn ceremony; it may seem funny, but it is, in fact, a ancestral tradition that considers the horse equal to a divinity.
The morning of the race, Piazza del Campo will be completely crowded. You can choose wheter to assist to the Palio together with the people in the main square or sitting in a stand in one of the main buildings surrounding the circuit. Before the competition you will assist to a folkloristic parade that evokes the ancient, late-Medieval Siena Republic, with more than 600 people in traditional costumes recreating a glorious atmosphere and the Contrade history. Afterwards, the race will begin: 10 Contrade furiously running three times around Piazza del Campo with jockeys screaming and pushing their horses to go as fastest as they could.
The service provided will include: accommodation in Siena, tickets for the Palio with different seat options, Contrada dinner and horse’s blessing, a 2 h walking tour with a specialized guide to learn more about the competition’s origins and rules.