LAST MINUTE PALIO TICKETS

Two elderly many reading the newspaper whilst waiting for the Palio horse race in Siena

Desperate for Palio tickets? 

They are hard to find unless you reserve them months or even years ahead. The easiest option is to join the rest of the crowd, who's watching the Palio for free from the middle of piazza del Campo, which is just the way most Sienese see the race. 

However, this year the municipality of Siena has 23 last minute tickets available for the Palio dell'Assunta 2015Prepare to stand in the queue for them, but with 150€ per ticket it's well worth the effort (seated tickets normally start from 250€ and go all the way up to 500€ per person). 

PALIO TICKETS: AUGUST 16, 2015

The tickets are for the seats on the palchetti, the seated wooden stages built up especially for the race all the way round piazza del Campo. The seats are located between via di Dupré and Casato di Sotto, which is a great area to observe the wheeling and dealing between the jockeys before the race. 

The Palio tickets are sold from 10 am on Saturday August 15 in Via Casato di Sotto (number 23) at Economato Office, access via the tipografia - a printing business - to the right. Make sure you are there way before 10 am or expect to join a long queue. Also, note that not more than two tickets can be bought per person. 

Good luck!

Find more information in Italian on the comune di Siena's Palio website and for a quick introduction to the world's oldest horse race read What is the Palio?


CONTRADA DELLA TORRE IS THE WINNER OF THE JULY PALIO 2015

Torre's jockey Brio winning the July Palio 2015 on Morosita Prima
Jockey Brio during the fourth trial race on horse Morosita Prima running for Contrada della Torre (here passing in front of the blue and white wearing members of enemy contrada dell'Onda)

A false start happened after nearly an hour of waiting for horses and jockeys to properly align in piazza del Campo. Then more waiting and even worrying that with night falling the Palio may have to be postponed to the next day.* But it was worth the long wait to see contrada della Torre win.  

The only neighborhood in Siena with two enemy contrade had both of them - Onda and Oca - present in the race. In fact Onda was following sharp, but Torre's horse Morosita Prima and its experienced jockey Brio turned the Torre neighborhood into the celebrated winners of the Palio della Madonna di Provenzano 2015. Brio (born in Sovicille near Siena as Andrea Mari) has participated in 21 Palios and has won its fifth one tonight. 

Contrada della Torre hadn't won since the Palio of the 16th of August 2005. Ten years may seem like a long time, but is nothing compared to the 44 years that the Torre contrada members had to wait for a win after the one of the 16th of August 1961. 

*The last time a Palio had to be postponed to the following day because of insufficient day light on piazza del Campo was in July 1991. Contrada della Tartuca won the Palio della Madonna di Provenzano hence not as usual on July 2 but on July 3, 1991.

PARTICIPATING CONTRADE IN THE PALIO RACE ON JULY 2, 2015

Siena's onda (wave) contrada getting ready for the July Palio
Palio dinner preparations in the Onda neighborhood


As with every Palio, only 10 out of Siena's 17 contrade can participate in the horse race. 

The ten contrade which will race piazza del Campo on July 2, 2015 in the world's oldest continually run sporting event are: 

  • Torre (tower)
  • Nicchio (shell)
  • Civetta (owl)
  • Valdimontone (ram)
  • Leocorno (unicorn)
  • Oca (goose)
  • Pantera (pantheress)
  • Selva (forest)
  • Onda (wave)
  • Tartuca (tortoise)


PALIO HOSE RACE JULY 2, 2015

The weather forecast shows 30 degrees for the whole week in Siena. If you're not great with the heat and sticky crowds skip the long afternoon of waiting in piazza del Campo on July 2, and make do with a trial race instead. The first of them takes place on the evening of June 29 at 7.45 pm. Followed by morning trials at 9 pm and evening trials (again at 7.45 pm) on all the days leading up to the final race on July 2. The morning trials are less busy than the evening ones, but the light is beautiful and the town is at its best since not touristy yet at that time of the day.

The Palio neighbourhood dinners (Cena della Prova Generale) take place on the evening of July 1 in all 17 neighborhoods. However, the atmosphere will be more festive and competitive in the contrade which are actually taking part in the race on the following day. 
For last minute neighborhood dinners ask at your hotel or explore your favorite contrade and ask around for available spaces.  

EMIGRATION VS. IMMIGRATION: A MEMORY OF ITALY IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR

the flyer of uno, nessuno, seicentomila



Understand a bit of Italian? This is the night to figure out how much regarding a topic that seems a bit removed but actually isn't at all.  Italy entered the first world war exactly a hundred years ago on the 24th of May 1915. 600'000 Italian soldiers died during the war. Many of them were 'Italians' born in Brasil or Argentina who traveled to Europe as young men to fight for a country they had never put foot on before. 150'000 of Italy's soldiers in the first world war had been born in Brazil, Argentina and other countries their parents had had to migrate to for a better future abroad. An important fact to consider when we read the daily headlines regarding todays incessantly growing immigration to Italy and Europe via Lybia. 

'La storia quasi vera del milite ignoto' is told by Emilio Franzina, the writer of the book with the same title, which tells the story of a young soldier born in Brasil to Italian parents of Venetian heritage. 

In case your Italian isn't quite there yet, just come for the musical interludes by the extremly talented four musicians and singer Sabrina Turri of Hotel Rif and for the beautiful ambiance in Siena's teatro dei Rozzi.  

LA STORIA QUASI VERA DEL MILITE IGNOTO WITH HOTEL RIF
MAY 24, 2015 - 9 pm. 
Teatro dei Rozzi, piazza Indipendenza 15, Siena. Entrance is for free. 

If you want to catch Hotel Rif on a lighter note visit Montalcino on Wednesday 27 for the band's sunset view concert in Sant'Angelo in Colle. 
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