Exclusive Experience: Two Epic Days of the Palio
Want in on the action of Siena’s Palio race? We can make it happen! Our experts can arrange exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences before, after, and even during the race.
Fact: Siena’s Il Palio – a bareback horse race – lasts less than two minutes. Also a fact: It’s one of the most anticipated events in all of Italy. The spectacular race is between 10 of Siena’s districts, called contrade, which compete twice a summer, just like they have for hundreds of years.
The days of the Palio are intense to say the least. There’s no shortage of banquets, parades, or celebrations, which, with the help of our team, you can enjoy like few others. You can select which activities to add to your itinerary, but your days at the races can look something like this…
Day 1 - Siena July 1 or August 15
Enjoy a guided tour in the afternoon that leads you along the narrow, cobbled streets of the city as you learn about the medieval history and anecdotes behind the Palio (the actual Palio is a banner representing the prize awarded at the end of the race to the winner).
After, you’ll be able to experience an early evening rehearsal of the race from a seat in Piazza del Campo, where the race takes place, followed by a dinner in one of the several contrada locations.
Day 2 - Siena July 2 or August 16
You’ll meet your art historian in the early afternoon to attend the benediction of the horse in the church of one of several contradas, before heading to the Cathedral’s Piazza to watch the preparations of the historical parade preceding the race. All the contradas will be represented in medieval costumes, drums will be played, and flag shows will be performed.
Later, you’ll either take your seat again in Piazza del Campo, or in one of the prestigious residences overlooking the square where the banner, the Palio, will be shown along the street, followed by the breath-taking horse race.
After, we can arrange for you to have dinner in the square where the winning contrada will celebrate their victory. The atmosphere is incredible – equal parts exciting and beautiful – while dining by soft candlelight on the palazzos.
Ready to enjoy the Palio? See all of our villas in Siena, or get in touch with our team to learn more about pricing, which is available upon request.