Would you pay 150 euros for 90 seconds of excitement?

17 Aug

We visited Siena during our holiday in Tuscany, which is a beautiful city. It is famous for the ‘Palio’ which is a 90 second horse race which takes place in the Campo twice a year, July 2nd and August 16th. We could indeed have gone to see this famous event, as we were in Tuscany during the August period. Apart from the fact that I am not at all keen on horse racing, according to Mr Rough, the whole event is a complete nightmare for those of us who are not keen on crowds, heat and the Olympics, especially¬†as going to the loo and getting plenty to drink would be a near impossibility.

It is possible to buy tickets months ahead for anything between 150 and 300 euros. For this price you would get a grand stand or balcony seat. But supposing your attention wandered for a few seconds? You could miss the whole event! The riff raff generally crowd into the centre of the Campo and see the event for free. For the best view, it is advisable to find a position on the inner rail by 2:00pm and reserve it for the next 6 hours! According to Mr Rough, people keep pouring in up until a few minutes before the race and ‘the swell of the crowd can be over-whelming.’ When I first read that I thought that it said ‘the smell of the crowd….’ but I am sure that this could also be true! There is little in the way of shade, toilets and refreshment, and the riff raff will be unable to leave for at least 2 hours after the event. Consequently, very little drinking goes on. I think that the best option would be to get a she-wee (he-wees also available I am sure!)

Well, my mind was made up – no smelly horse-race watching for me!


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