Palio Experience First Choice

Duration: 6 hours aprox.  Location: Siena
This tour was already booked by 8 people

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Why choose this experience?

1 To enjoy the unique atmosphere that fills Siena for the Palio di Siena
2 To follow one of our experienced guides and discover all the secrets, the anecdotes and the stories of the Palio
3 To take in the show from the full comfort of a balcony or the grandstand in the Fonte Gaia area from where the view of the race, the ‘mossa’ and the crossing of the finish line are unmatched

The Palio di Siena is definitely the most famous horse race in the world, yet it is much more than horse racing! The Palio di Siena is history, tradition, passion, love and enthusiasm. It is a story that has been handed down for centuries and has reached the present day thanks to the passion and love of the Siena’s inhabitants. It is a tradition made of ancient and evocative rituals, a time when the city of Siena explodes in a loud and colourful cheerfulness that has nothing to envy a football stadium. Far from being a historical re-enactment exclusively tourist-orientated, many visitors come here and happily enjoy the show, though a bit disorientated by the confusion. It is precisely for this complexity that the best way to experience the Palio is by trying to fully understand all the aspects that make it so special. This is exactly what we offer: to transform the Palio di Siena into a unique and unforgettable experience. How? Thanks to the knowledgeable guides who will accompany you on an interesting tour to discover all the secrets of the Palio, the districts and the wonderful city of Siena, seizing the opportunity to witness the adrenalin-filled race from a fantastic and comfortable viewpoint.

The Palio di Siena runs twice a year, on 2nd July and 16th August: two dates respectively dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano and the Feast of the Assumption. The opportunities to enjoy this wonderful show therefore happen twice a year. Before the race, to immerse yourselves in the atmosphere of the event, our guides will accompany you on a tour that will help you better understand what goes on behind the scenes as well as interesting facts and traditions that lie behind such an important event. They will tell you about the 17 quarters in which Siena is divided and how the feeling of belonging to one or the other district is deeply rooted in the soul of Siena’s inhabitants. They will explain how each of them contains a museum where all the Palio memorabilia are exposed: the won ‘drappelloni’, the traditional costumes and much more... because the quarters and their inhabitants are the true pulsing heart of the Palio! In the time you will spend with our guides, you will get to know the Palio but above all learn to live with respect all the moments that mark the approach of the race. In the quarters nobody ever stops working for the Palio and the four days that precede the race become even more frenetic: rehearsals in Piazza del Campo, propitiatory dinners, horse care... the ‘contradaioli’ do not rest even for a second! On the day of the event everything starts before 8 am with the Mass of the Fantino to then continue with ‘la provaccia’, the blessing of the jockeys in their respective churches until the departure of the parade.

Before attending the race our staff will explain to you in detail how it will take place, so that during the hectic moments of the race you will find it easier to understand what's going on. The Palio, in fact, is run on a ring especially created on the cobblestone of Piazza del Campo. It is 390 metres long and is run for three laps in a time that can go from 1 minute and 15 seconds for the so-called 'fast' Palios to 1 minute and 20 seconds for the so-called 'slow' Palios. Because of Piazza del Campo’s unique shell shape, the route has different characteristics in the various zones: from straight sections to the two curves at San Martino and Casato. Watching the Palio is an indescribable emotion, but to do so from the centre of the square, in sunny July or August and without being able to get out for more than two hours may not be so enjoyable! What’s more, the view from the centre of the square is not the best. Our tour, instead, will give you the opportunity to watch the event from one of the grandstands on the side of the track or the balconies facing the square. In both cases you will be in the area of Fonte Gaia, the wonderful fountain that dates back to 1346 but was decorated with precious statues in 1409 by Iacopo della Quercia. The Fonte, called as such by the Siena inhabitants, happy to see water finally gush out in the square, is in the upper part, where the so-called ‘rincorsa’ begins. What is this about?

Let's proceed in order: of the ten contrade drawn to run in the Palio (there are seventeen in total), nine are placed between the canapi (ropes behind which the starter attempts to align the horses) while the tenth starts the Rincorsa from the area of Fonte Gaia. When the jokey of the 10th contrada passes the 'verrocchio’, the ‘mossiere’ launches the machanism which causes the ‘canapi’ (ropes behind which the starter attempts to align the horses) fall, so the race begins. 

From your privileged position, comfortably seated on the grandstands or one of the balconies, you will enjoy all the stages of the start of the race without losing even a second of these tantalizing moments. You will experience more intensely not only the exciting moment of the rincorsa but also the 'mossa' and the crossing of the finish line. Before the Palio starts you can also enjoy the arrival in Piazza del Campo of the beautiful costume parade consisting of 700 pageants preceded by a group of carabinieri on horse. At the first stroke of the Torre del Mangia bell tower - announcing the approach of the start of the race - the 'drappellone', ie the Palio, will also enter the square. It is carried on a cart pulled by two beautiful Chianina cows and then hoisted on the Judges' stage. After the flag-waving exhibition of the seventeen delegates representing the districts, the long-awaited Palio will finally begin. How thrilling! Wait and see: you will be dragged into the crescendo of adrenaline that fills each moments and in the end you will feel like a real Siena inhabitant too! Moreover, it is well-known that those who attend the Palio always leave a bit of their heart in Siena. Do not miss out on this wonderful opportunity and send us a reservation request for this fantastic tour... it will be a priceless experience you will always carry in your memories!

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

Important info

Availability:

2nd July and 16th August

Departure point:

Siena, Siena Info Point - Piazza del Campo, 69

Departure time

2.00 pm

Languages available

English

Prices

starting from € 495.00

Duration
6 hours aprox.
Inclusions
  • Special Tour of the Palio
  • Seat on the grandstand in the Fonte Gaia area
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 join the tour, please arrive at the meeting point at least 15 minutes before the departure time and and present either a paper or an electronic voucher.

Bookings can be made up to 48 working hours before the service.

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 get a prompt refund of the price paid for the tour.

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