Siena Day 1

Another beautiful day weather wise – easy drive to Siena by the expressway seeing some pretty hilltop towns.
The fun started when we tried to park. The free car park we had been told about was full and with no expectation of getting one we reset the gps for the pay car park . It led it is through the narrow streets of the center of the town filled with tourists. We followed another car which didn’t seem to know what it was as doing either- fortunately we went down a street which led to outside the walls. Still ended up receiving a fine for driving through a pedestrian area – thank you Italy for ripping off tourists!!! Following google on the mobile we eventually made it around and through the gate to the car park. We walked with our luggage to our B and B – up and down. Big things were happening in our street and there were preparations for celebration
We weren’t sure what to expect as there was no one at  office. We rang and she eventually came- delightful – very proud of Siena and told us plenty of history and what to expect that night. This area of Siena had won the horse race.
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The Palio di Siena (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːljo di ˈsjɛːna]; known locally simply as Il Palio) is a horse race that is held twice each year,on 2 Julyand16 August, in Siena, Italy. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. The Palio heldon 2 Julyis named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, a Marian devotion particular to Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia. The Palio heldon 16 Augustis named Palio dell’Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary.
Our accommodation is so well located about 100 meters from the Piazza del Campo. The weather was magnificent and we sat on the ground taking it in with many others.
Had lunch at local recommended restaurant – Peter had local dish – pappardelle with wild boar sauce.
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Siena is busy with tourists but totally gorgeous – walked up to the duomo which was brilliant white in the sunshine.
We had a fantastic Saturday night in our street. The street had been set up with different themes from key museums e.g. Louvre,Cairo, British- so there were people dressed up -can can girls, mummies, the pipe and cardinals,opera characters. There was live music at the Moulin Rouge-fabulous. Good and drink was sold by vouchers – Soooooo much fun. Wall to wall  people.

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