In the heart of the Contrada: exclusive dinner and visit to the museum

Duration: approx. 5 hours  Location: Siena
This tour was already booked by 9 people

per service
starting from
660.00

Why choose this experience?

1 To enjoy a fun evening in good company thanks to an exclusive dinner in ‘contrada’ where you can taste the traditional flavors of Siena
2 To discover the places, the history and the traditions of one of the districts of Siena, the true beating heart of the city and the Palio
3 To visit the district museum where artefacts and treasures from all eras are kept

Were you looking for tips on what to do in Siena, Italy: you might have been wondering where to eat in Siena to try something really typical? Well then, read on... we have a truly special activity to suggest! But before that, you must know that visiting Siena inevitably means approaching the event that more than anything else represents the city: the Palio. The images of horses competing in Piazza del Campo are now famous all over the world. But don’t get it wrong: this is not just any old horse race - so much so that it’s not all over after 90 minutes of racing. On the contrary, the Palio, with its traditions, its rituals and its customs permeates the life of Siena and its inhabitants. The beating heart of this ancient ritual is composed precisely of the districts of Siena. It is precisely here that nobody ever stops doing and organizing things: as soon as one Palio is over, everyone immediately begins to think about the next one. Then what better than to really get to know this city with an ancient charm than to visit the Siena districts? Be careful, however, visiting the ‘contradas’ doesn’t only involve looking down its streets, admiring its churches and the monuments, but rather it is all about experiencing them, understanding the spirit that brings them to live and above all meeting the ‘contradaioli’, the districts inhabitants. And of course we can’t fail to mention the jockeys and horses, they too are real protagonists of the event! The commitment, the passion and the lively cheering of the contradaioli make the Palio unique and incredible. Thanks to our activity, a Siena contrada will open its doors to you in one exceptional event! It really is not easy for the public to be given access to these premises. You can visit the contrada museum, where you can admire many relics and discover many interesting facts and anecdotes. At the end of your visit, thanks to the exclusive dinner in contrada, you will really feel part of the community. Rest assured, it won’t be any old usual dinner in Siena, but rather a truly unforgettable and unique experience: on top of enjoying delicious dishes, you will breathe in the true spirit of this wonderful city.

Entering Siena quarters means having the chance to discover one of the most ancient Siena institutions. The quarters in Siena as they are known today have remained intact ever since 1729, when the Governor Violante Beatrice of Bavaria decided that the city was to be divided into seventeen parts. The same ones that exist today: each with its territory, its emblem and its colors. The names of Siena contradas belong in most cases to 'local' animals, but they can also be exotic and mythological, and each name tells a story: Eagle, Caterpillar, Snail, Owl, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, Unicorn, Wolf, Nicchio, Goose, Wave, Panther, Selva, Tartuca, Torre and Valdimontone. You just have to take a quick look at the many contrada’s flags, which you will see all over the place, to recognize the colors that invade the streets of the city and the square during the Palio. And it is precisely starting from the Palio, its history, its rules and its ancient traditions that your discovery of the district will start. Although the race runs in Piazza del Campo, it is in the districts that preparations take place, lasting for months on end. It is here that strategies are born and, for example, horses stay during the days of the Palio - each district has its own stables! They used to be the ones of the carters, but they increasingly resemble luxury shelters, where the animals rest in comfort and are pampered by the whole community.

You will gain an even better understanding of everything that surrounds the Palio by visiting the Contrada museum. What is there to see? In the ‘Sala delle Vittorie’, which is the most beautiful and monumental room, you can admire the 'drappelloni' won over the years. You will also find ancient flags, sacred furnishings, mountain ranges, ancient costumes and objects of all kinds and ages. The museum is usually located in the headquarters of the district where there are also municipal rooms, warehouses and rooms for events and moments of community life. During the colder season, if you eventually decide to have dinner in a Siena contrada, your meal will take place right in one of these rooms. A charming and unique atmosphere to experience Siena in the most authentic way. In summer or in any case when weather allows you can eat outdoors in the courts or alternatively in the most typical and picturesque corners of the district. And the delicious dishes you will taste will be no less traditional. The dishes will be prepared by local inhabitants of Siena: this is not about eating in the centre of Siena in the usual restaurant for tourists, but rather it is about tasting the genuine local cuisine, prepared in houses and, in fact, truly used for contrada dinners. What will you happen to end up eating in Siena? After a tantalizing welcome drink you will move to the classic Tuscan appetizer: excellent cold cuts, tasty cheeses and delicious croutons. Since you are in Siena to eat we will not skip the typical first course of this area: the Siena pici, delicious handmade spaghetti seasoned with cheese and pepper – ‘cacio e pepe’ - or with tomato. You can also taste the excellent ‘ribollita’, the typical Tuscan soup made with bread, vegetables and legumes... a real delicacy. In keeping with the best tradition of the Siena district, everything will be washed down with excellent house wine. The dinner in the contrade in Siena will end, as expected, with an excellent traditional dessert. If you have any other 'gastronomic' desires, let us know and we will try to satisfy your wishes!

Do not miss the chance to enjoy the ‘contrada’ life in Siena. Take advantage of this all-round activity to take in all the passion and emotions that you can experience only in the real districts. Give yourself the opportunity to get to know an authentic, evocative and exciting Siena.

© Insidecom Tour Operator
(authorization no. 62027 dated 09/07/12 with determination no. 2052/2012)

Important info

Availability:

all year

Departure point:

Siena, place to be agreed

Departure time

daily
7.30 pm

Languages available

Italian
English
French
German
Spanish
Russian

Prices

Starting from €660.00 per service (up to a maximum of 20 people, therefore individual costs vary according to the number of participants.
Minimum price €33.00 per person for groups of more than 20 people.)

Duration
approx. 5 hours
Inclusions
  • Guided tour of the contrada museum
  • Dinner in contrada
Exclusions
  • What is not specified under "Inclusions"
Additional information:

There will be no refund in case of NO-SHOW (non-attendance at the start of the tour at the allocated time and at the meeting point indicated on the voucher) and/or rejection of the service on the day; if customers wander off during the tour; or if they decide to leave the tour before the end of the service.

To take part in the tour, you must be at the meeting point at least 15 minutes before the departure time specified, and present either a paper or an electronic voucher.

Bookings can be made up to 72 working hours before the service.

Please inform us of any diet allergies or intolerances.

In case of any problems on site, please ring the emergency number on the voucher.

In exceptional cases and/or reasons of force majeure that may prevent the tour already purchased to run regularly (i.e. acts of nature, strikes, exceptional closures, serious unexpected events or health problems experienced by the person in charge with the service after which it is really impossible to find a substitute), the tour might be cancelled. The customer will be notified of this as soon as possible and will be asked to choose between postponing the tour on the first date available or receiving a prompt refund of the price paid for the tour, if the cancellation policy of the service itself allows a refund.

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