Palio Experience - Luxury

Duration: 6 hours aprox.  Location: Siena
This tour was already booked by 9 people

Gallery

Why choose this experience?

1 To let you enjoy the company of our guides in a fascinating journey that, with anecdotes, interesting facts and tales, will make you discover the most important and significant places of the Palio
2 To take in Siena on the day of the Palio and capture, on this special day, the deepest essence of the city
3 To enjoy the Palio and the parade that precedes it from a luxury apartment: a spectacular view, an elegant and refined location and a tasty buffet

Among the events that animate the warm Tuscan summer the most famous is definitely the Palio of Siena. A tradition envied all over the world whose origins date to a very distant past. To tell the truth, its beginnings go back so long that a precise date cannot even be pinpointed. What is known is that already in the thirteenth century a so called Palio ‘alla lunga’ used to take place during which horses would run at a high speed down a straight line along the streets of the city. But it is not until the seventeenth century that a Palio similar to what is run today starts to appear according to a practice called ‘alla tonda’, i.e. around the circular track in Piazza del Campo. In 1774 it was decided that two Palio would be held annually: one on 2 July dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano and the other on 16 August dedicated to the Assumption celebrations. 

Interesting, don’t you think? There are so many and fascinating facts to discover on this unique event. The Palio is not just the most famous horse race in the world. It’s much more. The Palio is tradition, love, passion and enthusiasm ... in a few words it is the very soul of Siena. The best time to visit the wonderful Tuscan city is in coincidence with one of the races. On these two special days the city becomes even more lively, charming and evocative, and it is easier to capture its deepest essence. For this, you will benefit from the profound experience and knowledge of our expert guides, who know the Palio inside out. But the real ‘gem’ of this unforgettable experience will be the opportunity to relish the show from a window or a balcony of a highly luxurious apartment. Between me and you, watching the Palio in the square, surrounded by the crowds and under the sun can inevitably cause some discomfort that some might not be willing to accept. What about instead the pleasure of watching it all from above,  in an exclusive apartment while drinking a glass of fresh white wine and nibbling on locally made specialties? Much better, no doubt. 

How will this unforgettable day unfold? First, our guides will accompany you on a fantastic journey to discover everything you need to know about the Palio and the contrade (the city’s districts). The latter are the true heart of the whole event. It is not just colourful flags hanging throughout the district or animated cheering: belonging to a district is part of the DNA of every Siena inhabitant. You cannot help but notice the district dwellers bustling around, each with their task and thoughts to those few minutes when everything will be decided. Each contrada also has its own museum where the most important mementos from won races and the costumes donned are kept.

The day of the Palio in Siena begins quite early and is punctuated by a series of events that reveal all the features of this tradition: religion as well as communality and of course competition and heartfelt support. At 8:00 the Mass of the Jockey is celebrated in the chapel adjacent to the Palazzo Comunale. Then at 9:00 the 'Provaccia' takes place... by the way, do you know where its name comes from? Because at this time everybody is already too busy to give it any attention! Between 15:30 and 16:00 in the oratory of each district there is the Blessing of the Horse and the Jockey: it is a very evocative and participated moment that ends with the propitiatory motto pronounced by the priest ‘Go and come back a winner’! At this point, starting from the Palazzo del Governo in Piazza del Duomo, the amazing procession of the Corteo Storico gets underway: 700 pages donning colourful costumes of the time that will take you on a journey into the past! 

When the procession arrives in Piazza del Campo you will have already taken position inside the apartment and from here you will enjoy the show from an advantaged point. You will see the group of Carabinieri on horseback that opens the parade, the large number of pages from the various districts parading in the same order as the alignment of the horses at the starting line and finally, hoisted on a cart, you will admire the 'drappellone' or ‘Palio ', the drape affectionately dubbed 'cencio 'by born and bred Siena’s inhabitants. Do you know that every year is painted by a different artist, often famous ones? Just to name a few: Aligi Sassu, Renato Gottuso, Jean Michel Folon and Salvatore Fiume. Finally when you see the flag weavers you know the spectacle is about to begin. 

And what a show! From the balcony of the apartment where you will be comfortably seated, you will enjoy a great view on the most important stretches of the track: you will see the area of the 'mossa', the starting line, where a series of complex procedures take place. You will watch the ‘mossiere’ as he tries to get the horses to line up between the two ‘canapi’, a difficult procedure due to the natural reluctance by the horses to be next to one another. Often, this is started all over again or the start is called off. From your special viewpoint you will also see the Curve of San Martino, one of the traits that, due to its slope and curvature characteristics, is one of the most eventful and crucial. Many a race have been determined in this section of the track. The Curve of the Casato is a bit less difficult, but none the same demanding and one to watch. And finally, after you've been gasping for air for what seems an interminable time, you will enjoy the decisive final moment of the race. You will have the privilege to truly watch it instead of guessing it from the crowds’ roaring. Isn’t all this just grand? 

It is said that those who have the chance to see Siena during the Palio cannot help but fall in love with it. Enjoying it from a fantastic apartment equipped with all the comforts you expect, for sure will make your experience simply unforgettable. After embarking on a fascinating journey to discover what goes on behind the scenes and all the interesting facts of the Palio, you will feel pampered by the elegant, refined and quiet ambience. And as we are in Tuscany, the kingdom of good food, the buffet prepared for you will give you the chance to taste delicious and locally made produce accompanied by excellent Tuscan wines. What else could you ask for? Perhaps that your adopting contrada wins the race? Unfortunately, we cannot help you with this but we are sure that the atmosphere and the comfort of the apartment will make a possible defeat less bitter.

© 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

14.00 pm

Languages available

English

Prices

starting from € 3.850,00 (per service)

Duration 6 hours aprox.
Inclusions
  • Special Palio Tour
  • Access to one of the windows of a luxury apartment
  • Buffet
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, 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 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.

Departure point map

Check dates

Select language
Choose a date
Input data