PALIO DI SIENA
On July 2 and August 16 in Siena there is the Palio. A medieval tournament that sees 10 of the 17 town districts competing against each other to win the Palio, a painted drape. This race is one of the most famous historical events in the world, with horses and jockeys acclaimed by the crowd in a fierce and exciting competition. The race, called “carriera”, takes place in Piazza del Campo after a beautiful parade in costumes and with flag bearers. Among the most difficult points of the path there’s the curve of “San Martino”. In this races the horse wins and not the rider, so that the horse “shaken”, without a jockey, can continue the race and win.
I CAVALIERI DI SANTA FINA FERIE DELLE MESSI
In June in Monteriggioni there are the Harvest Holidays, an historical re-enactment that takes us back to the thirteenth century with The Knights of Santa Fina who take part in a big parade and the carousel of the sticks. The event represents the relationship between man and nature and evokes the ancient rituals as a good omen for the abundance of the harvest.
MONTERIGGIONI DI TORRI SI CORONA
In July in Monteriggioni there’s the banquet at the castle, as part of the manifestation of Monteriggioni di Torri si Corona. This reenactment wants to rebuild the customs of the period of Dante with games, parties and typical dishes.
BRAVIO DELLE BOTTI
In late August, in Montepulciano,there’s the Bravio delle Botti, a race between the eight districts of the town. Two pushers for each district have to push a barrel of 80 kg all the way, uphill, up to Piazza Grande to win the Bravio cloth. In the week of the Bravio celebration there’s also the Procession of the Candles which runs through the town in medieval costumes and with flag bearers to reach the cathedral.
Between Crete Senesi and Val d’Orcia the Nature Train is an opportunity to discover this beautiful area in the countryside. The itineraries are many, and many are far from the streets, where only the railroad and the dirt roads can be penetrated. You can travel in steam trains with a timeless charm, with historic locomotives or vintage railcars. The itineraries and dates are coordinated with many of the events and festivals that take place in the area, so in addition to the beautiful landscape, you can enjoy yourself during stops, visiting markets, taste local specialties, and enjoy all kinds of performances.
In October in Gaiole in Chianti there’s the Eroica, an amateur sports event dedicated to cycling enthusiasts. A special section is dedicated to those who run with vintage bikes and that can win the title of “heroic.” They run on dirt road in four paths along the Siena area characterized by particularly difficult climbs and descents with vintage bikes that can’t “help” to pass the most challenging stretches of road.