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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Photograph Essay: Palio di Siena


Pictures taken by Taylor Cameron (College of Virginia), Scholar Correspondent for CET Siena, Summer time 2023

Exploring a Market

Each Wednesday morning, a market takes place across the Fortress (Fortezza Medicea). It’s stuffed with distributors promoting garments, jewellery, footwear, luggage, and extra—a shopaholic dream! My CET associates and I spend hours wandering by way of it every week.  

On a aspect avenue on the market, one can discover a small choice of distributors promoting native meats, cheeses, fruits, and different meals merchandise. The spotlight of this part is the porchetta, a sort of savory Italian pork, which you should purchase from the distributors on a panino.

Seashore Journey to Sestri Levante

People taking a dip into the ocean and having laid out beach chairs and towels on Baia del Silenzio beach in Sestri Levante, Italy.

I took a day journey to Sestri Levante, a city on the outskirts of Genova, the place I spent the day on the seaside on the Baia del Silenzio (Bay of Silence). It was so peaceable and serene, with crystal-clear water and minimal vacationers; the proper method to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

Palio di Siena

This week was the occasion we’ve got been ready for throughout our time in Siena—the Palio di Siena! The Palio will get its identify because the winner of the horse race is awarded a painted silk banner—a Palio. We attended the ceremony wherein the Palio was unveiled to the general public, bearing the picture of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary is a vital determine in Siena (seen within the middle-right of the photograph on the far left).  

The following day, we had our weekly exercise with CET, the place we visited the church and museum of the Nicchio (shell) contrada. A member of the contrada detailed to us the historical past of the Palio and toured us by way of the contrada’s museum, the place we noticed the banners the contrada had been awarded for profitable numerous Palios over a whole bunch of years.

Finally, the day of the Palio arrived! Whereas the race itself didn’t start till 7:30 pm, we arrived at 2 pm to safe front-row spots within the interior ring of the observe. This image exhibits my CET associates and I about 3 hours into our wait. Whereas it was a scorching sizzling day, it was actually value it for the view we acquired afterward.  

Earlier than the race itself takes place, the Corteo Storico (Historic Procession) travels all through Siena. It begins on the Siena Duomo and makes its manner all through Siena’s streets, arriving within the Piazza del Campo a little bit after 5 pm. The 17 contrade take part alongside many different Sienese. Within the far left {photograph}, you may see the banner of the Palio displayed.   

When the Corteo Storico concluded, the observe was cleaned, and everything of Siena waited in anticipation of the race. I captured this photograph of the piazza, which had been nearly empty a number of hours earlier than once we arrived (center picture). I had by no means seen Siena this crowded up till this second. I used to be in awe of how many individuals the Palio had drawn to the town.  

Whereas I didn’t take any images in the course of the race itself, because it lasted only some minutes, the Selva (forest) contrada was victorious. After the race, all the contrade paraded across the piazza as soon as once more whereas folks sang and celebrated the victory.  

4th of July Celebration with CET

Group of CET Siena students holding up the American flag outside with a picnic set up in front of them to celebrate the fourth of July holiday

After an thrilling week main as much as the Palio, we had an American vacation to have a good time—the 4th of July! CET organized a picnic for us, and every residence introduced a selfmade dish to contribute. It was a enjoyable method to deliver a small piece of house to Siena and have a good time with different program members.  


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