8am - 5,30pm
Today after breakfast we head to the city of Siena, famous for its Palio. Here we will visit not only the city of Siena but also its neighboring villages, Monteriggioni, Colle Val d'Elsa, and San Gimignano known for its inspiring towers to the designer of the Twin Towers, a short stop at Montepulciano headquarters of the Volturni.
Return in the evening.
The Palio is not an event exhumed and organized for tourism purposes: it is the life of the Sienese people over time and in its various aspects and feelings. It has ancient beginnings with some regulations still used from 1644, the year in which the first palio with horses was run, and it has gone on every year since.
The territory of the City is divided into seventeen Contrade with borders established in 1729 by the Notice of Violante of Bavaria, Governor of the City.
The Palio is the most important event in Siena, taking place on July 2 and August 16 every year.
In the Palio, the various Sienese "contrade", or areas in which the city is divided, challenge each other in a passionate horse race in the heart of the city in the Piazza del Campo.
Originally, there were about fifty-nine "Contrade"; now only seventeen remain, ten of which take part in the historical pageant and in the race at each Palio (seven by right and three drawn by lots).
The 17 Contrade which still exist today are: the Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf and the Goose.
A small fortified town halfway between Florence and Siena, is famous for its architecture and for its beautiful medieval towers that make the city profile truly unique.
In the most flourishing period, the rich families of San Gimignano arrived to build 72 towers as a symbol of their well-being and power. Of these today there are 14 that contribute to making the city atmosphere even more fascinating.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990, San Gimignano is one of the small pearls of the province of Siena and also offers excellent local products such as saffron and white wine called Vernaccia di San Gimignano.