Palio Experience - VIP

Duration: approx. 6 hours 

Location: Siena


Why choose this experience?

1 To take part in an interesting guided tour of Siena and discover all the stories, tales and secrets of the Palio
2 To learn about, appreciate and come to value an ancient tradition kept alive by the passion, enthusiasm and dedication of the inhabitants of Siena
3 To view the race comfortably seated and from a fantastic location near the so called ‘mossa’ area, where the crucial moments of the start and finish of the race take place

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Choose your time

This tour has been already booked by 2 people

Important information


2nd July and 16th August

Departure point:

Siena, Siena Info Point - Piazza del Campo, 69

Departure time

2.00 pm

Languages available



starting from €660.00

approx. 6 hours
  • Palio Special Tour
  • Seat on the grandstand starting/finishing line of the Palio
  • 'Mass of Fantino' and 'Provaccia' *
  • 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.

* The 'Mass of Fantino' and the 'Provaccia' are not included in this tour. You can still attend these two suggestive moments in autonomy.

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

Cancellation Policies: there are no refunds once the booking has been confirmed.

In exceptional cases and/or reasons of force majeure (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 service you booked might be cancelled. If this should happen, you will be informed as soon as possible and, according to the type of service you booked, you will have the possibility to choose between postponing the service on the first date available or receiving a total refund of the price paid, if the cancellation policy of the service itself allows a refund.

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Full description

Siena is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany: it is located in the most famous and photographed area of the entire region, for centuries it has attracted tourists from all over the world, who often fall in love with it. But there are two days in the year when losing one’s head for Siena is almost inevitable: these are 2nd July and 16th August, when, respectively, the Palio of Our Lady of Provenzano and the Palio dell'Assunta are held. In these two dates Siena becomes simply magical, unique, fascinating as never before. Our special 'Palio Exclusive' tour offers you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the most famous horse race in the world: thanks to the tales of our guides, while you visit the most important venues of the event you will come to understand, value and love this ancient tradition that is renewed every year. You can then go from theory to practice ,thanks to the tickets included in the experience. You will enjoy the spectacle of the race from an extraordinary location situated near the area where adrenaline is sky-high: the start, also called’mossa’

This exciting stage of the race alone is enough to appreciate why the Palio is a unique event, with truly singular features. You never know, in fact, when the race will really start. The ‘mossa’ is in fact a complex but certainly very exciting process. Out of the seventeen districts in which Siena is subdivided, at each Palio's only ten – chosen by draw - can run the race. Nine horses with their jockeys are placed according to the order set by the draw between the two ‘canapi’, two large ropes. Horses often get nervous because of their close contact with one other and more than once the process has to start again. The jockeys are no different: they also do not often like to be next to their rivals! You will ask yourselves, what about the tenth horse? This starts with a run-up and the moment it crosses the position of the ‘mossiere’ the race is off. These are moments full of commotion that will leave you gasping for air: being close-up to the action whilst comfortably sitting on one of the terraces or on the stands right next to the track will be a memorable experience that you will always keep in your heart. Make the most of it! Much better than the alternative: watching the Palio in the centre of the square standing up, under the sun and without the possibility of getting out for more than two hours.

The added value of this experience is not only the privileged place from which you will see the event, but also the time you will spend with our expert guides that will accompany you in the fascinating journey to discover the Palio. This is not, in fact, the usual historical re-enactment just for tourists. The Palio for the inhabitants of Siena is more than just tradition, it is passion, love, enthusiasm and dedication. These feelings are always alive like sparks in the heart of every resident but they only catch fire on the day of the Palio. An emotion-packed day when every minute is to be relished and treasured. Accompanied by our guides, you will be able to explore the most important places of the Palio where the most important rituals are held. The heart of the Palio are the city’s districts, here you will sense the adrenaline flow everywhere and here you will be able to explore most of the secrets of a truly unique event. You will find out, for example, that each district has its own museum where the won 'drappelloni' are kept, the canvasses painted by artists of great fame such as Renato Guttuso, Aligi Sassu, Salvatore Fiume and Jean Michel Folon. Within these special museums you will also find other interesting items such as the many and varied traditional costumes used over the years. 

Your day in Siena will then be spent witnessing a series of events that take place as the day proceeds from early morning to the fateful moment of the start of the race. The day begins before 8am with the Mass of the Jockeys in the chapel adjacent to the Palazzo Comunale, then at 9am the 'Provaccia' in Piazza del Campo is held and then at 3pm there is the blessing of the Jockey and the horse that takes place in the oratory of each district. Around 4pm the Historical parade sets off from the Palace of Justice in Piazza del Duomo and enters Piazza del Campo around 5pm. More than 700 pages form a truly evocative parade, led by carabinieri on horseback and closed by the carriage towed by two beautiful Chianina-breed cows carrying the 'Palio'. There is also the flag-weaving exhibition of the seventeen flag-weavers each one representing a city district (Eagle, Caterpillar, Snail, Owl, Dragon, Giraffe, Crested Porcupine, Unicorn, She-wolf, Seashell, Goose, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Tower, Valley of the Ram) and then…the race starts! In  addition to witnessing the start... you will be among the lucky ones that will enjoy a great view of the finish! 

And then what happens? It's easy to imagine! The celebrations of the winning district will be let all loose and all the adrenaline will burst out into the all-night long celebrations. It will be impossible not to get involved in all the celebrations... unless you decided to root for one of the districts that were defeated. Moreover, Palio is like life: Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But in any case you will be able to enjoy the spectacle from a fantastic viewpoint, you will have learnt about and admired what was happening and will come home with unique, precious and indelible memories. And if you really want revenge for your favourite district ... you'll just have to come back for the next Palio!

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