Siena: Experience Il Palio in Style

The summer sun beats down on the tiles of Tuscany. Flags and banners sway in the breeze. Men and women garbed in the colours of their ward pageant around a city that looks a lot like a theatrical backdrop. Troupes and fanfares, jesters and damsels; the Palio is quite a spectacle. Twice a year in Siena, the city steps back in time and puts on one of the greatest shows on Earth. Ten horses, ten riders, one prize. We’ll take you there, with luxurious lodgings and front row seats to all the action.

The best seat in the city

Siena heaves during the Palio. The streets swell with locals all vying for a glimpse of the gallop. In a tradition almost as old as the race itself, it’s only through straining the sinews like the winning steed that you’re guaranteed a peep of the action. Well, that’s usually the way things pan out. This time, things are going to be a little different. On the afternoon of the race, we’ll spirit you away from the hustle and bustle of the Piazza del Campo, taking you to an exclusive room overlooking ‘La mossa’ – the startline, to enjoy your private lookout. This is the climax of the festivities and where the drama of the Palio starts. Just below you, nine horses await bareback, their riders primed for action, hooves scuffing the earth until the tenth pair bolts through the line and the race begins. Three terrifying laps ensue, as passion boils and partisan locals goad their riders to victory.

Make this itinerary yours

Like what you see? Contact us today to find out more about our exclusive itineraries. But remember: each and every Black Tomato trip is tailored exactly to who you are and what you want to do so tell us about yourself and we’ll create something that’s entirely you.

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Tuscan pleasures

Make the most of your time in Siena and explore the duomo and the city’s marvellous piazze. Take in the Renaissance masterpieces of the Sienese School, sample exquisite Tuscan wine and soak up the atmosphere of this warm, convivial region.

King of the castle

Set amidst an old Tuscan hamlet in the hills of Chianti Classico, settle in at Borgo San Felice and savour traditional Tuscan delicacies and wines. It makes for a truly unique backdrop to your Tuscan adventure. But the best way to really get a panoramic view of the beautiful surrounding rolling countryside, and sign off your time here, is to soar high above the hillside on a hot air balloon ride.