A visit to one of Siena's 17 contrada museums normally asks for a little preparation. The neighborhoods in Siena's historic town center are happy to open their doors to visitors, but you need to call beforehand to arrange an appointment (as an alternative book a Palio tour with an experienced Siena guide, who will take care of the nitty gritty bits on your behalf).

The contrada baptismal fountain in Siena's porcupine neighborhood #Tuscany #enjoysiena #igerssiena

However, on the national holiday of the 2nd of June all Contrada museums are open to the public and you won't need a reservation to admire countless proudly won Palios in one single day. La Festa della Repubblica is Italy's National Day, which celebrates the vote after the second world war in which Italy's population decided to become a republic and to cut the country's tie with the monarchy. Whilst the vote is commemorated with a lengthy military parade in Rome, Siena turns the event into la Repubblica dei Musei. I definitely prefer the latter option. A republic is only as strong as its single parts and Siena's 17 contrade are no doubt a great symbol for this.

Free guided visits to Siena's 17 contrada museums from 3 pm to 8 pm followed by concerts in the various neighborhoods in the evening. Just explore some of Siena's backroads and you're prone to run into one of the museums without looking for it. If you're already a fan of a particular contrada, find the exact location of its museum by clicking on its emblem on the Palio website

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