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Twice a year, in July and August, the wide Piazza del Campo in the centre of Siena is transformed into a horse racetrack. 17 different 'contrade' neighbourhoods are represented by decorated silk flags and compete to win the coveted 'Drappellone...more
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47 | Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy
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+39 0577 280551
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Ways to Experience Il Palio
from US$193.80
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from US$251.20
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Reviews (142)
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1 - 10 of 58 reviews
Reviewed today

If you're accustom to regular hose racing then the Palio will make absolutely no sense to you. First, you should watch 'The Palio' on Netflix to see for yourselves that this race is no race for the faint hearted. In this race, the horse that...More

Thank 2016andiamo
Reviewed 6 days ago

We were already planning to spend a week in Siena when we found out about the special Palio to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the end of WWI. We felt fortunate to experience the festivities and learn the history of the race. It was...More

Thank Andiamo2010
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We drove to Siena planning to shop and enjoy a good lunch. As we walked through the city, we noticed a great deal of energy, Contrada flags flying brilliantly in the sunlight, almost everyone wearing a contrada scarf around their necks, including babies! We asked...More

Thank Haebee
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

First off, I have to share that I have a dish fetish. I found a store on the piazza that will custom make the exact design of Italian plates that I want. Heaven! Sienna is also the location for a crazy bareback horse riding event...More

Thank Carol H
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Such atmosphere! We visited late in the afternoon and had drinks and snacks at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the plaza and then returned after dark for a walk around the plaza. A different look at night. Worth both. While there watch a YouTube video of...More

Thank Steve N
Reviewed 21 September 2018

I had the privilege to see it in 1998. There has been many rehearsals, fights between rival neighborhood. I remember they organize two each year for centuries. If you are there at these times, do not miss it. You will remember it for the rest...More

Thank martinchris8080
Reviewed 27 August 2018

amazing festival engaging the entire population of Siena ( a beautiful medieval fortressed city)...parades/songs/ medieval costumes/flag bearers and competitors plus an insanely crazy horse race....all intertwined with century old tribal mentality...and then there is the current day bribery, conspiracy etc.... watch "Palio" on Netflix to...More

Thank vigotheman8
Reviewed 25 August 2018 via mobile

A large plaza in the centre of Siena. We watched the Palio and had a wonderful time. In its normal operation it is a meeting place for Sienese and tourists alike. Therefore the prices of things increase the closer you get to the Palio. For...More

Thank rodneyc692
Reviewed 24 August 2018 via mobile

Be aware that people book hotels years in advance for this race and after many futile attempts, we gave up and decided we’d try our luck watching from the centre of the piazza (free) and had an amazing experience. We positioned ourselves at the highest...More

1  Thank Goretti_13
Reviewed 22 August 2018

This is a city tradition centuries old. The presentations are still in medieval costume. The city takes the competition seriously. You have to like crowds but the excitement is contagious. It was wonderful to sit on our balcony and listen to the different districts sing...More

Thank Cynthia S
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Questions & Answers
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gannonbb
22 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from BayArea768 |
The seats should be about 500 to 600 euro for a good balcony with access to a bathroom and water, snacks etc. You should contact a local licensed tour guide. Make sure they are licensed. The good ones have relationships... More
1
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finbarsmom
23 May 2016|
Answer
Response from Celestial_Caticorn |
Well, the Palio is free as long as you go in the centre of the square but as for places you will be lucky to see anything if you don't arrive at least a few hours early. The atmosphere is very hot and bustling so be careful... More
2
Votes