Through the centuries, up to the present day, Siena has been a leading centre of art and culture. The immeasurable value of its historic, artistic, scenic and architectural heritage was recognised by UNESCO in 1995, when it declared the historic centre a World Heritage Site. The twice-yearly “Palio” is the highlight of Siena’s civic calendar. This ancient jousting event has become famous around the world and for natives it is one of the most important, intensely felt moments in the life of the city. It is a memorial to a past civilisation, relived year after year to keep centuries-old customs and practices alive.
PROGRAM – 3 Nights : 30 June/3 July
DAY 1: Make your own way to Siena and settle in at the hotel (check-in from 3 o’clock in the afternoon). Get your Opa Si Pass, a single ticket for the visit of the Duomo, a treasure chest that holds immense art treasures, statues by Michelangelo, Donatello, Bernini, the Pulpit by Nicola Pisano and the wonderful Libreria Piccolomini frescoed by Pinturicchio . You could enter the Baptistery to admire the beautiful baptismal font created by some of the greatest sculptors of the Renaissance: Jacopo della Quercia, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Donatello. The visit will continue down into the Crypt, to enjoy the breathless beauty of the grandiose pictorial cycle from the XIII century, and in the Museo dell’Opera, where you will admire some of the must-see treasures of Italian art, including the world-famous Maestà dy Duccio di Buoninsegna , the very delicate Golden Rose by Bernini, the Madonna and Child by Donatello and the moving Crucifix by Pisano. Last but not least the visit with a climb up to the Facciatone where you will enjoy the most fascinating and unforgettable view over Siena and the countryside
DAY 2: Breakfast and in the morning guided tour of the city, winding through its most symbolic sites such as the Piazza del Campo and the Cathedral of Santa Maria dell’Assunta
DAY 3 after breakfasting at the hotel, you will leave for Piazza del Campo and the event everybody has been waiting for – the Palio horse race you will experience from your grandstand seats (bleachers or ‘palco’ as they are called) – the grandstands are located at ground level on the perimeter of the race track and in front of the buildings that surround the track area.
Early in the afternoon, each of the horses is given a blessing in the church of the relevant participating contrada. Next, the participants from each contrada make their way, dressed in historical costume, to the Prefettura (near the Cathedral) from which the procession, known as the Corteo Storico, leaves to make its way to the Piazza. In the Piazza itself, a display by mounted carabinieri is followed by the two-hour Corteo Storico, then, finally, it is time for the “la carriera” – the race for the Palio. The July race is scheduled to start at 7.30pm, the August race at 7.00pm, though the race may actually start much later if the build-up takes longer than planned. At the end of the race, the residents of the winning contrada carry the Drappellone – the winners’ banner – to the appropriate church, to give thanks to the Virgin Mary. In July, this is the church of Santa Maria in Provenzano; in August, it is the Duomo. Afterwards, they carry their prize to their own contrada, and then they take it on a tour around the city, accompanied by much singing, waving of flags and banging of drums.
DAY 4: breakfast, check out operations. End of services.
From € 745 in double room with breakfast
From € 670 in triple room with breakfast
From € 970 in double room single use with breakfast
THE QUOTE INCLUDES
THE QUOTE DOES NOT INCLUDE
Transfers, local taxes at the hotel, parking, tips, extras expenses and things not expressly mentioned.
Jun 30th /July 3rd