The Palio in Siena is ferociously simple. Ten horses, three times around the central square bareback, no interfering with other riders’ reins. No other rules.
Going back more than 300 years, Palio is a fundamental part of life for the Sienese. It runs twice a year, in July and August, but getting to see it can be challenging. The square itself is sealed, packed with hordes of people in the summer heat. The only civilised way to enjoy the race is on the balcony of one of the private residences that surround the square.
Art Tours can arrange a private apartment above the square including one of our guides to explain the rituals of the race. Think of it as part of a wider Tuscan program, including day trips out to our favourite towns like Pienza, Montepulciano and San Gimignano.