Il Palio di Siena is Italy's most famous historical horse race and costumed pageant


  The Palio of Siena
How to Buy Tickets

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Make Il Palio an experience you'll never forget. Take your place among our excellent seats in the southwest corner of the Campo. These reserved seats are in the bleachers or on the terrace, and you'll be pleased to know that this is the first corner of the Campo to receive the afternoon shade. Because Il Palio is one of the most popular events in the world, and because there is a very limited number of seats available to the public, these tickets always sell quickly. Our Palio package also includes a pageant program, a street map of Siena, local restaurant suggestions, and a witty insider's explanation of each exciting phase of Il Palio. We also offer attendance at the rehearsal banquet, which costs extra and is optional. Please note that neither the Palio itself nor the banquet are ideal for families. The Palio pageant is very long, mostly incomprehensible to small kids, and requires them to sit still in the hot sun for up to four hours whether they like it or not. The banquet does not even start until 9pm and goes on until late at night. For families, we suggest you go to Siena the morning of the Palio and just wander the streets, where you will see lots of spontaneous pageantry that absolutely delights kids and is free of charge.

Please contact us to request price and booking information on the Palio.

If you're interested in attending the Palio, you have two basic options:
  1. You can stand in the Piazza. The advantages are that it is free of charge and it gives you a great opportunity to mix with the locals. Since the Piazza is raked, almost anywhere you stand affords a good vantage point for most of the race. The disadvantages are that since the race track actually encloses the Piazza, the fences are closed before the pageant (about 4:30) and it is impossible to leave until the race is completed (about 8:00). Also, the Piazza is in the sun most of the afternoon, so if you do choose this option, be sure to take along a parasol or at least a hat to cool you off. Folding chairs or stools are not permitted and there are no restroom facilities or refreshment concessions.

  2. For a more comfortable solution, we offer reservations with full sight lines facing the Campo front-on. These are all in private homes owned by people who have been hosting our guests for years now and include, for 2014:
  • One row of eight numbered seats on the terrace above the entrance to the Campo. You are seated directly above the staging area for the procession, which means you not only see the whole race but you can also see the pageant participants close up as they prepare to enter the Campo. This part of the Campo gets the shade earliest, and you have access to a private bathroom.

  • One row of eight reserved standing room spots on the terrace above the Campo. This may not sound like a great option, but it is just slightly inferior to the one above, because you can freely come and go into the apartment to sit down, and for a good part of the pageant and during the entire race, everyone on the terrace is on their feet anyway! Again, you are directly above the staging area for the procession, which means you not only see the whole race but you can also see the pageant participants close up as they prepare to enter the Campo. This part of the Campo gets the shade earliest, and you have access to a private bathroom.

  • Numbered seats in the bleachers above the Campo. These seats are in the part of the Campo that gets the shade earliest, they have perfect sight lines, and they are a lot of fun because most of the bleachers are filled with locals, whereas the terrace is exclusively for our clients. There is no access to a private bathroom or refreshments, and moving around during the event is discouraged, but there is a restaurant behind the bleachers with a bathroom you may or may not be able to use, depending on circumstances.
All our seats and windows are sold first-come-first-served, so we urge you to request price and booking information as soon as you can. Reservations are made pending full non-refundable payment by Visa, Mastercard or Discover. Upon confirmation, we will email you a Palio packet with a voucher, a program, detailed instructions, a map and much more useful information. If your first choice is not available we will ask you before booking any alternative.

We also offer an exclusive opportunity to visit a contrada headquarters with a bestselling author and member of the contrada. This is your best chance ever to learn the history, foibles and anecdotes of Siena's Palio.


Piazza del Campo
From our terrace

Piazza del Campo
From our bleachers


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