Siena’s Big Race

While thousands of tourists visit Florence on any given day, few detour to the Italian city’s lesser known neighbor just a day trip away. 

Siena is a smaller version of Florence and, if you ask me, one that is more personable and far more peaceful–unless, of course, you happen to visit during the PalioThe Palio is a horse race that occurs in the town square twice a year, July 2 and August 16. 

But it’s not just any horse race.  Ten jockeys at a time, from various rival neighborhoods, blow around the converted square in a mad race for local bragging rights.  50,000 spectators cheer them on with a passion normally reserved for European soccer.  And this being Italy, you can just imagine the wild times had by all.