The Palio of Siena – ticket and hotel

Siena, Tuscany Siena


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.

Useful Informations

  • The check out is between 9 and 10.30 am
  • Possibility of booking longer stays and /or to change the hotel for your overnights
  • The timetable for the practice runs is as follows: 9 o’clock for the morning runs (second, fourth and the “Provaccia”), while the evening sessions (first, third and the “Prova Generale”) start at 7.45pm for the July Palio, and 7.15pm for the August event. Those wishing to watch the trial runs are advised to be in the Piazza by around 8.30am-8.45am (for the morning runs), while for the evening festivities it is best to get to the Piazza an hour before everything starts, otherwise you risk being caught up in the crowd that accompanies the horses into the Piazza. If you wish to see the procession outside the Piazza, you should aim to arrive after the last contrada has arrived, about half an hour before the start of the trial run, ideally using Via Rinaldini or Via del Porrione, which are two of the last access points to be closed.
  • Ticket Delivery  Palio Tickets for the race and reservation tickets for the Contrada dinner will be given to you in Siena.; either at your hotel in Siena or in our office located in Piazza del Duomo, 1 (inside the Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex). Our team is in Siena for each race.
  • Cancellations: Due to the special nature of the Palio period, once settled,  the horce race Palio; tickets are not refundable regardless the cancellation date. For the hotel accomodation, thecancellation fee is 100% if the cancellation is made from 30 to 0 days before the expected arrivalday.
    Tickets for the Contrada Dinner are not refundable if the activity is cancelled due to bad weather conditions or otherwise cancelled by the respective Contrada, since this activity cannot be rescheduled.
  • WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS ON THE DAY OF THE PALIO?   If it rains on the day of the Palio the race will not be run, above all to safe-guard the well-being of the horses and jockeys. A green flag will be hung on the front of Palazzo Pubblico to advise the public and the race will be run on the following day, weather conditions permitting. Your tickets are valid for the rescheduled race. There are no refunds if you are not able to stay over for the rescheduled race.
    Cancellations of any trial race, or the Contrada Dinner or City Tour due to weather conditions are not refundable.



From € 745 in double room with breakfast

From € 670 in triple room with breakfast

From € 970 in double room single use with breakfast



  • 3 Nights with breakfast in hotel
  • Walking tour.
  • Grandstand seat for the Palio race


Transfers, local taxes at the hotel,  parking, tips, extras expenses and things  not expressly mentioned.



Jun 30th /July 3rd

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