The world's craziest and most passionate horse race, Il Palio dates back to the 1100s and makes the Kentucky Derby look like a pony show. Oversized jockeys whip bareback around 90 degree turns in Siena`s main square competing for Tuscany`s biggest prize: district pride.The race has no rules with riders being thrown and horses finishing without their jockeys. The race is capped off with massive street parties and celebrations through the night.
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The trip departs Florence from the Santa Maria Novella train station. The meeting point is in the International Ticketing Hall opposite tracks 8 and 9. Please meet your trip leader 20 minutes prior to departure. Travel to Siena is by private, luxury coach bus with A/C, and DVD.
On arrival in Siena, your trip leader will show you to the heart of Siena’s famous medieval horse racing competition, Il Palio. Il Palio dates back to the 1100s. Each contrade (or district) of Siena is represented by a horse, and oversized jockey clad in Medieval attire. The race takes place in the Piazza del Campo, the sloping piazza in the city center that makes this fierce horse race all the more challenging. Once we check out the scene at Piazza del Campo, you will have the option to remain at the race, and claim your viewing location for the rest of the day, or to explore Siena a bit, visiting its other major sites, like the Siena Duomo.
The horse race begins around 19:00, with parades and processions in the Campo beginning several hours prior to the race. The race winner of the race is the first to succesfully complete one lap of the Piazza del Campo. Afterwards, massive celebrations take part in the Campo. You will have time to explore Siena, and join in on the festivities.
Departure from Siena is that night.