Italy’s Earliest Horse Race Winds Siena Back to an Old World Bash

The frenzied Renaissance celebration would have been right at home in a Shakespeare play.

The following article, written by Marco Scurati, appears on


Historic celebration or collective madness? That is the question. Twice a year in Siena, Italy, families and friendships are consumed by love, hate and rivalries. Pranks and fights divide the historic city quarters.

The sacred coexists with the profane, the comedic with the tragic. The town is abuzz with fervency and trickery. All over a horse race.

But the Palio di Siena isn’t just any horse race; it’s an all-consuming passion for Siena and its citizens.

It’s a script that William Shakespeare would have loved, but he died 16 years before the first edition in 1632. Continue reading at

Piazza del Campo. The aerial view of people eagerly waiting for the Palio di Siena horse race in the square.

Share your favorite recipe, and we may feature it on our website.

Join the conversation, and share recipes, travel tips and stories.