Siena Palio Tour

Explore the rich history of the quintessential Tuscan horse race with a local expert
From US$408 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Piazza del Campo
  • Contrada Museums
Photos & Highlights
  • Join an engaging, local expert at the top of their field such as you explore firsthand how the Palio horse race defines Siena and its people
  • Unique, personal tours for the intentional traveler. Choose from private tours for just you and your party, or join a small group tour with other travelers
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Tour Description
Unleash your passion and ignite your senses on your journey to the heart of Siena's Palio, a biannual horse race that is steeped in tradition and rivalry. You will feel the adrenaline surge as you step into the Piazza del Campo, the iconic arena where the Palio takes place.

Immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere as your expert guide, a proud member of the Torre contrada, unravels the mysteries of this captivating event. Let the magic unfold as you explore the contrada museums and discover the hidden gems of this enchanting city. You will discover the secrets behind the contrade, Siena's distinct and fiercely loyal districts that compete for glory in the Palio. You will also visit a contrada museum where you will learn about the animal symbol adopted by each one. 

From there your guide will lead you through a journey of delving into the fascinating history of the Palio, dating back over 350 years, and witness how it continues to shape the rhythm of Sienese life. You will explore their meeting houses, adorned with centuries-old banners and trophies, and learn about their unique traditions and symbols. By the end of the tour, you will have dived into the fascinating history of the Palio, dating back over 350 years, and witness how it continues to shape the rhythm of Sienese life.

Unforgettable experiences await on this immersive tour of Siena's Palio, where passion ignites and history comes alive.
  • You're a culture lover interested in immersing yourself in local traditions and customs
  • You’re hoping to discover the city through the eyes of a local expert
  • You want to discover the stories and insights behind this world-famous event
  • Piazza del Campo main public space of the historic center of Siena considered as one of Europe's greatest medieval squares.
  • Contrada Museums – unique museums that showcase the rich history, traditions, and culture of each of Siena's 17 contrade or districts. 
  • We don't pre-arrange tickets for this tour. Tickets and various entrance fees can occur during the tour.
  • For more information on planning your tour, read more about how to arrange your next visit to Siena in our Context Story!
  • Check out our upcoming lectures on Tuscany to prepare for your trip.
  • This tour is partially accessible. The tour is relatively walking intensive and involves maneuvering on cobbled streets. However, the itinerary can be adapted for clients with mobility issues.
Wheelchair accessibility
  • Clients who use wheelchairs may bring their own as they are not available to rent on-site.
  • If you have mobility concerns, please contact us to discuss the best tour option for you.
For more information about Context Tours, please visit our FAQs.

Can we take the tour on the day of the Palio? 
Yes. The Palio in Siena takes place twice a year, on 2 July and 16 August. The atmosphere in the city on the days before and after the races is very rich and interesting. During the two Palio events only the museums that are in the 7 districts that are not taking part in the race will be open.

Are any tickets included with the tour?
No, you are pre-paid for the tour only. There will be nominal site entrance costs or other fees (around 10 euros per person) that are not included in the price of the tour. It is a good idea to have some local currency on hand for these.

Can we be met by our guide in Florence?
Your guide is a local expert, so you will meet directly in Siena. If you would like the convenience of help getting to Siena, please contact us to arrange a private car for you.

How can I get to Siena from Florence?
The best way to reach Siena from Florence is with the SITA bus line. The SITA bus line leaves the bus depot on Via Santa Caterina di Siena, just a block southwest from the front of Santa Maria Novella station at least once an hour on weekdays and the ride is about 75 minutes. Taking the train to Siena is discouraged- the bus stop is in the middle of Siena, while the train will leave you on the outskirts, forcing you to get a taxi.
Book with confidence — see Context's flexible cancellation policy here.
Where You'll Start
(4.9) 8 Reviews

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Wow! We went to this tour on Palio weekend and we were SO GLAD we did. Stella was a true expert in all things Palio, and she gave us so much context (yes, the name works here!) for everything we were about to see. This tour exceeded our expectations, and we found ourselves explaining things to people when we went to see the trials and of course, the big race! We felt like real "insiders." Stella was so smart, knowledgable and fun, too. Could not recommend this enough!
Stella was amazing! She provided great historical facts but with very local context. Felt like walking the city with a family friend. Answered all of our questions and personalized the experience. Had great access to local “must-sees”. Wish it could have lasted longer! Thanks Stella!
Stella is an amazing guide!!! We all appreciated her intimate knowledge of the Palio and she made that part of our trip so much more informative.