Siena’s most famous event, the Palio, is a bareback horserace which is run around the famous Piazza del Campo, in the centre of Siena. It takes place twice a year, in early-July and mid-August. The spirit of the Palio is in the blood of the Sienese and celebrations and events run throughout the year, so it is commonplace to stumble across feasts in the streets, or drumming and flag-throwing in any of the 17 Contrade (districts) which define the competition. Visitors at Le Tolfe may also see some of the Palio horses training through the hills and olive groves of the estate. The Palio theme continues in the villa itself, with each of the 17 bedrooms named after one of the contrade – with extraordinary and enchanting names such as Bruco (the caterpillar), Aquila (eagle), Leocorno (unicorn), and Chiocciola (snail).
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