August festivals

Palio di Siena
Piazza del Campo, Siena
Information: 0577 280 551
Website: Palio di Siena
Date: 2 July and 16 August

This controversial, often Palio, or violent horse race, around Siena’s main piazza is Tuscan pageantry at its best. Trial races run on three days leading to the two main dates. The last is at 9am on the big days. In the early afternoon qualifying horses and jockeys (both in traditional costume) are blessed in their team’s church. At about 4.30pm the procession enters the Piazza del Campo and, after acrobatic flag throwing, the race runs at about 7pm. Its free to stand in the square, but get there early! Tickets for seats in balconies overlooking the Piazza are sold in bars and cafes around the Piazza. Be warned, however, they are hard to come by and quite expensive but it is worth it!

Effetto Venezia
Tel: 0586 2046 11
Date: 10 dates in late July and August
Evening shows and concerts in Livorno’s “Venetian Quarter”- so called because of its canals. Restaurants stay open late serving local delicacies.

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