Looking for the best way to enjoy the famous Siena Palio, the historical horse race between ten of Siena’s seventeen Contrade (wards or districts) which takes place twice a year on July 2 and on August 15, the feast day of the Virgin Mary? We’ll create your personalized Palio of Siena package!
Witness the passion that suffuses the Palio and the events surrounding it. Experience the thrill of finding yourself between history and legend, earth and fire, the sacred and the profane, medieval and Renaissance pageantry. Take a seat on the grandstand, relax, enjoy the sun, the parade, and the race from the best of vantage points. The Palio of Siena is an unforgettable Italian experience!
The Palio events include the day before the actual race, dress rehearsal day (“prova generale, ” July 1 and August 15). A final preparatory race is held and watched by thousands with almost as much excitement. Celebrations follow the dress rehearsal race. In particular, the dinner-event called “Cena della Prova Generale,” which is based on traditional Tuscan dishes and wines is an event not to be missed. During the feast, speeches from the captain, the priest, and the jockey of the Contrada are followed by music and song.
On the next day, the actual Palio day (July 2 and August 16), the final preparations for the Palio begin. The most exciting events start in the early afternoon with the famous and sacred “Blessing of the Horse.” These ceremonies take place inside the churches of the various Contrade taking part in the race. Then, the "Historical Procession" (“la Passeggiata Storica”), a parade in the special medieval costumes of the Palio, is followed by a crowd of Contradaioli (citizens of the Contrada) and visitors. Then, finally, the horses enter into the Piazza del Campo for the main Palio race. The horses run three laps of the piazza, accompanied by a never-ending and anxious cheer of emotion from every spectator there. Excited cheering then turns into thunderous applause as the crowd congratulates the winner. Festive dinners conclude these most exciting events, while the winning Contrada will celebrate all year long.
Choose among the exciting events, or come be a part of all of it - the Dress Rehearsal Race, a Dress Rehearsal Dinner, the “Blessing of the Horse” ceremony, the “Passeggiata Storica.” Watch the actual Palio race overlooking the sharp San Martino bend, the most difficult, dreaded and dangerous part of the course. Celebrate together with the Sienese during the Palio Dinner after the race... .
Ask us, and we’ll create your personalized Palio of Siena package!
Curious about history and background of the Palio of Siena? Check out the DETAILS section!