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Contrade tour – city neighbourhoods

  • Contrade tour – city neighbourhoods

    Siena’s distinctness owes much to the contrade, the 17 city wards created during the Middle Ages. These neighbourhoods still symbolise the Sienese’ sense of belonging: every community has its own flag, fountain and font, as well as its own motto, museum and church. Plaques on the walls testify to which contrada you are in, ranging from Wolf to Owl, Unicorn, Caterpillar or Goose. Baptisms and deaths are celebrated collectively, while a traditional Sienese will only marry within his or her contrada. The power of the contrade can be felt during the Palio horse race, which commands the passion of the whole population. Every neighbourhood spurs their rider on to victory. To get to grips with this secret world, book a contrade tour around the individual museums, churches and stables.

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