Palio - Castel Monastero
Direct return flights from London Heathrow to Florence
Drive from airport to; Castel Monastero - 1hr 13m
Campo Regio Relais - 1hr 8m
Distance from Castel Monastero to Siena - 15 miles
Distance from Campo Regio Relais - 0.2 miles
Italy is one of the best places to get some summer sun. July and August are the hottest months of the year with an average temperature of 23 degrees celsius. We advise to bring plenty of cool clothes and suncream.
The Palio is a race like no other and takes place twice a year in the beautiful and scenic city of Siena, Tuscany. There is so much to look forward to and enjoy on this trip to Italy. Dating back to 1281, this horserace is one of the most important events in the Sienese calendar as the whole city gets involved some way or another. The city is made up of 17 districts, also known as Contrada, which each compete against one another as rivals on and off the track.
The hotel Castel Monastero gets its name from its previous life as an ancient Monastery. On the outskirts of Siena, the hotel is nestled in the heart of famous wine region Chianti where the surroundings are nothing but rolling fields of vineyards. The Castle has been restored with luxurious rooms, gourmet dining, Gordon Ramsay restaurant and a world class spa. A stay here will be an experience to remember and a real treat. There are many things to do and add on top of your peaceful nights rest, dining and spa treatments...there are ample opportunities to get out and explore the delights of Tuscany and what better way to see the country than in one of the greatest Italian creations….a Ferrari. Your package includes a spa treatment of 50 minutes to be used for face or body or you can always choose to upgrade this offer and treat yourself to more than just 50 minutes of care and attention. The dining is second to none as the hotel offers a restaurant partnered with world famous chef Gordon Ramsay. Make the most of the delicious Tuscan delicacies by washing it down with the estates home produced wine.
The night before the Palio is an impressive event with lots of lively celebrations before the actual race. This is the day when each jockey from the different Contrada, draws which horse they will ride in the main event. A traditional outdoor Tuscan banquet is served up in the streets for thousands. Served up by volunteers from the local Contrada, this is a night not to be missed. The streets of the different Contrada are lit by torches and lanterns with huge tables about 50 foot long. A feast of Tuscan cuisine with an electric atmosphere full of apprehension, nerves and excitement. The feast and festivities are exciting but very serious for the locals with flags hung everywhere and lots of loud chanting.
On the day of the race, the air is filled with tension and excitement. You will be placed out of the way of the bustling crowds and in the safety and comfort of a private apartment. This is the perfect viewing spot for the race as it overlooks one of the more dangerous corners in the whole square and can create some great thrills. The horses line up for the start behind a piece of rope. Each horse with jockey is drawn out of a hat for which position they will take on the start line. The last and less advantages place to start is on the outside of the square however, this individual gets the advantage of deciding when the race begins by crossing the rope first. Horses and jockeys run around the square a total of 3 times. And remember...this is all bareback...without the aid of stirrups for balance and stability. The standing rule is that a horse can still win without a jockey on board.
During your stay at Castel Monastero you will be able to treat yourself to a 50 minute spa treatment. Set in the ancient elegance of two typical Tuscan Farmhouses, you can discover the extraordinary ‘Dimagrante’, ‘Detox’ and ‘Anti Age’ treatments. After your treatment enter into the ‘Aquae Monasteri’ path, with a very high salt-density sea oil tank which will enhance the effectiveness of your treatment.
Excursions to add to your trip
Hire a Ferrari - There are plenty of other additions we can make to your trip to ensure you make the most of every Italian opportunity...so why not hire a Ferrari to roam around the Tuscan hills? Castel Monastero will have an Italian super-car outside the front of the hotel
Wine Tasting Program - As you are situated amongst the rolling Tuscan hills, covered in vines, this is the perfect time to take a tour of the local vineyards and taste the local wine.
Hot Air Balloon - A romantic and relaxing way to see the rest of your surroundings.
Polo - Either watch or play yourself… the polo ground is only a short drive away from the hotel. As this is peak season