The Palio of Siena and Contradas’ museums open the doors to visitors. Borgo Grondaie has decided to talk about these museums and their value for Siena citizens.

Siena is a city rich of history, art, culture and of course museums. However, particular attention should be given to this specific category present only in our city: the contradas’ museums. It is a unique heritage that you cannot find anywhere else.

Siena’s Contradas

The contrade in Siena are 17, each of which corresponds to seventeen subdivisions of the historic city within the medieval walls. They are: Eagle, Caterpillar, Snail, Owl, Dragon, Giraffe, Hedgehog, Unicorn, She-Wolf, Shell, Goose, Wave, Panther, Forest, Turtle, Tower and Ram. Each district has its headquarter in which the core is represented by the museum. Inside it you can find lots of rooms used for assemblies and reception. Here you can admire memorabilia, memories and various trophies, the “Drappelloni” (the big paintings) won and “Masgalani”, (the Masgalano is the prize that is awarded to the contrada whose historical promenade is considerated  the best in elegance, poise and coordination during both pageants preceding the Palio), the old and the new costums used during both parades, ancient flags, furniture and works of art.

Valdimontone Museum

Valdimontone Museum

montone 3The most beautiful room is undoubtedly the Hall of Victories, often used as a hall of meetings of the General Council of the contrada. Each museum is subject to periodic renewal according to taste and the changing times. Linked to the museum are the record office and archive in which all the books of the resolutions and correspondence, the accounting documents and administration are kept. There are also other rooms where the rods and flags are stored together with shoes, costumes, drums and everything used during the Palio. Then detached from the museum environments there is the stable for the horse, a sacred place during the days of Palio!

A Contrada’s museum

The Palio of Siena and  contradas’ museums are recognized examples of medieval traditions. In this regard it seems interesting to recall some small historical references.

The Palio happens every year on July 2nd and August 16th. With regard to contradas‘ origins, for someone they are dated back to the Military Companies that defended the city in the battles of the ancient Republic. For others, their birth is linked instead to gaming events typical of the Middle Ages. In the past we had even 80 contradas but from 1729, when the governor of the city, the Serenissima Violante Beatrice of Bavaria, set the bounds precise (still valid today), are 17. Today the life of each contrada has taken different forms but the values ​​of solidarity and their prestige to defend is the same, both in the Palio and in the many events linked to it. It is interesting to note, also, that before ‘600 the Palio was run “in the long run” through the streets of the city and without jockeys. Later, in the mid-seventeenth century, it began to run it “round”, or in Piazza del Campo as nowdays. In 1701 the Palios became two, July 2 and August 16 both in honor of Jesus mother.

Piazza del Campo

Returning to speak of the importance of the Palio and Contradas’ museums we cannot forget the Society of contrada, born in the late nineteenth century with the purpose of mutual aid and support of their members against accidents, poverty, disease, old age and illiteracy. The Societies, however, knew moments of decline, broke up and reform, taking recreational functions. In particular, they opened the evening and on holidays and represent the place to meet each other, to play cards, billiards, bingo and to socialize. They often organized dinners and meetings and, as now, it is a moment totally dedicated  to speak about the Palio, singing folk songs and organize recreational activities. Today the aim of contrada Societies is to strengthen relations between supporters promoting recreational activities, cultural and sports.

Valdimontone Society


For anyone interested in visiting a contrada museum we inform you that you should contact the office to arrange a visit by both individual and group. Here is the list of the 17 contradas with the contact to whom you can contact for more information:

Aquila, Casato di Sotto- tel. 0577288086

Bruco, Via del Comune 44- tel. 057744842

Chiocciola, Via San Marco 37- tel. 057745455

Civetta, Piazzetta del Castellare- tel. 057744800

Drago, Piazza Matteotti 19- tel. 057740575

Giraffa, Via delle Vergini 18- tel. 0577287091

Istrice, Via Camollia 87- tel. 057748495

Leocorno, Via di Follonica 15- tel. 0577288549

Lupa, Via di Vallerozzi 71/73- tel. 0577270777

Nicchio, Via dei Pispini 68- tel. 057749600

Oca, Vicolo del Tiratoio 11- tel. 0577285413

Onda, Via Giovanni Duprè 111- tel. 057748384

Pantera, Via San Quirico- tel. 057748468

Selva, Piazzetta della Selva- tel. 057745093

Tartuca, Via Tommaso Pendola 21-tel. 057749448

Torre, Via Salicotto 76-tel. 0577222181

Valdimontone, Via di Valdimontone 6-tel. 0577222590


Published by Hotel Borgo Grondaie

Hats off to Siena guides association always very attentive to enhancing and promoting  Siena territory.


From November they will start a series of activities to which Borgo Grondaie would love to give prominence, with the hope that citizens and visitors appreciate the wonderful initiatives.


The first event  I want to point out, perhaps because as a mother I feel the need for activities to carry out with my son, it‘s remarkable.  It is to make known the floor of the Cathedral of Siena to children through the story depicted in the beautiful marble and the discovery of the characters shown.


The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 9th at 15:00  meeting point the ticket office of the Cathedral of Siena. The cost is 6 Euro per child and one adult per child has free entrance.


For more information please contact the authorized guides of Siena through their website

Siena is a land of wine and this value is recognized all over the world. Chianti and Brunello’s wineries open their doors to public for tours and tastings on May 26th.
If your intention is to taste many wines remember that there is the possibility of transfers from Siena downtown and for a small rate it will allow you to taste the nectar of Bacchus without worrying about driving.

Enjoy your visit!WINE SHUTTLE 2013 - 26 maggio



For two days, Sarteano, a nice village near Siena (about an hour by car), will be transformed into a wonderful show of colors, art and fragrances. All this thanks to “Artinfiore”, the first festival of flowers and creativity.

Located in the historical center of Sarteano you’ll admire different art installations inspired by the “greenery” theme. It will be also possible to visit the trade show dedicated to flowers , uncommon plants and crafts related to gardening.
The event will also provide children’s workshops and classes for all ages to learn something new about the world of flowers.
You can find more information on :
Source: Siena News

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Yes! In Siena, we  celebrate the New Year also on March 25!
The modern calendar comes from Pope Gregory XIII ‘s will  who adopted a single rule for measuring time. Think about how it could be to use a different calendar in our world! Before 1582 in Siena, the New Year was celebrated on March 25 because it matched the day of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary. On same date it took place the Feast of the ancient Hospital and  of its church which was dedicated to the Virgin of the Annunciation. For that day  Siena municipality  donated votive candles, presented barn workers  and expose religious relics in the Chapel of the Vow.
This year Siena celebrates “his” New Year on March 25 with the following program:
4.30 pm meeting of the historical parade and  city authorities in the church of SS. Annunziata
5 pm  procession from the church of SS. Announced to the Public Palace in Piazza del Campo
5.30 inside the Public Palace LECTIO MAGISTRALIS proclaimed by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.

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On December, 15th and 16th  in Siena and more precisely in the heart of the city, in the beautiful Piazza del Campo, an extraordinary event will come back: “the market in the Campo Square,” a real modern market that, both in terms of products or the arrangement of the sales counters (which will be a copy of those of the past), will propose an image of what the city market at the time of the Republic of Siena was. Two whole days to admire and taste the tradition of Siena with the quality of today.



In the thirteenth century, the “big market”, which took place once a week in the square, was the main source of supply but also a place of social relations and important area of trade. The small farmers from the countryside and craftsmen were so numerous that at some point it became necessary to reorganize the market to make it less chaotic adopting a specific placement that will be reproduced during the event, in fact there will be a food area (once the queen of the market was the “treccola” , she who sold fruits and vegetables, legumes as well as milk and cheese, poultry and game) and another area dedicated to crafts (among the most known craftsmen were tanners, baskets makers, cobblers, sellers of barrels). In today’s market it will be possible to find other excellence of the territory as producers of wine, saffron, bakers, goldsmiths, bookbinders and many others. Some craftsmen will perform live their creations and, as once part of the square was reserved for entertainment, games and activities will be organized to involve also the children.
On the occasion of the event it will be possible take guided tours at a cost of € 5.00 (free for children up to 11 years) to discover places of taste which ,over time, have distinguished Siena. Departure for the visits is scheduled at 11a.m. and 4p.m. from the information desk.


Some restaurants in the city will take part in the event offering typical food:


- ALL’ORTO DE PECCI (“pici” with garlic) pici, gnocchi and pappardelle are typical kind of pasta  

- CASATO ENORISTORANTE ( “polenta” with wild boar) polenta  is cornmeal mush

- FONTE GAIA ( red gnocchi with potatoes and beetroot served with black cabbage and sausage)

- FORI PORTA (sausages and beans with” polenta” and mushrooms)

- GROTTA DEL GALLO NERO (“pici “with wild boar and wild boar stew)

- BAGOGA (pork stew)

- IL RIALTO (braised beef cooked with chianti wine with mashed potatoes)

- IL BANDIERINO (“pici” with cheese and pepper)

- LA BIRRERIA (pasta with “cinta senese” pig sauce)

- LA BUCA DI SAN PIETRO ( “pici” with black cabbage, crumbs and pecorino cheese)

- LA CHIACCHIERA ( stew with potatoes)

- LA FINESTRA ( wild boar with grape and apples)

- LA MOSSA (“senese” tripe)

- LA SPERANZA (wild boar)

- MILLEVINI (braised beef with “polenta” pie)

- MUGOLONE (chicken with “sangiovese” grapes or wild boar in “ dolce forte” sauce)

- OSTERIA BABAZUF ( vegetable soup with meat balls)

- TRATTORIA DELL’OSTE MEZZO AL GIUGGIOLO ( “pappardelle” with wild boar sauce).


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(from December, 1st  2012 to January, 27th 2013).

Siena Crypt and  Piccolomini Library will host “Puer Natus”, an unusual exhibition dedicated to the magnificent illuminated parchments inspired by the history of Jesus childhood as the “Annunciation”, the “Nativity”, the” Adoration of the Magi” (Three Wise Men) and the” Introduction of Jesus at the Temple”.

For the first time the anthems of the Piccolomini Library will be open on a paper (page) that differs from that on display at the permanent exhibition, while in the Crypt  Jesus’childhood will be represented through precious anthem books belonging to the end of the thirteenth century and coming from the Archive of  the Museum of the Duomo (the Cathedral).
The visit to the Crypt will be accompanied by listening to Gregorian chants linked to the Liturgy of Christmas.
The anthems will also be virtually browsed (to better admire the valuable features) thanks to touch-screen reproductions.

All inclusive ticket € 8.00 (Puer Natus, Crypt, Piccolomini Library, Cathedral, Baptistery  and Opera Museum). Free entry for residents and children under 11 years.

For information, reservations and guided tours: +39 0577 286300

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On Saturday, October 27th, the ninth day of the national urban trekking will be held in Siena, a guided tour to learn about and discover this beautiful town.
This year the theme is ” common stories of uncommon people” a path dedicated to uncommon characters but often not enough known that have gone through the history of Siena at different times, the protagonists of stories of faith, passion and talent.

Walking time: 2 hours and a half
Length: about 3 km
Starting point: Piazza del Campo (Siena)
Departure time of the guided tours: at 5.00 p.m. –  5.15 p.m.  –  5.30 p.m. – 5.45 p.m.-  6.00p. m. – 6.15 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.

For further information:  Tourist and Economic Development Office  tel +39 0577 292128/78    Or visit

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Siena Festival is a new festival of performing arts in the city that raises the previous experiences of other Festival like “Contemporary Baroque Festival”, “Voci di Fonte”  and “Teatrinscatola”.
The program offers a contemporary reinterpretation of the classics baroque music, theater and dance; it is a cultural project that wants to mix the past with the present through dialogue between different art expressions .

Numerous events will take place like dance shows, concerts, guided tours, exhibitions, screenings and meetings.

For detailed information about the program:
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Treno Natura : a trip on a vintage train always combined with a special event along the Tuscan countryside.
You can stop at small stations to continue on foot to discover small villages, churches and castles, to taste local products and much more …

This is the calendar of trips:

October 14th  Steam Train (Porcini Mushroom Festival )- Vivo d’Orcia
October 21st  Steam Train (Countryside Festival) – Monte Amiata
November 4th  Steam Train (Festival of Castratone) – Piancastagnaio
November 11th  Steam Train (White Truffle) – San Giovanni d’Asso
November 18th  Steam Train (White Truffle) – San Giovanni d’Asso

December 2nd  Steam Train (Christmas Markets in Amiata)
December 8th  Steam Train( New Oil Festival )- San Quirico d’Orcia
December 16th  Steam Train (Siena and its Museums)

Information and reservations
Visione del Mondo Travel Agency
Via Camollia, 130
53100 Siena
T. +39 0577 48003
Fx +39 0577 236724

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