Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 19, 2016

Run donkey run

I am in Torrita di Siena for the Palio dei Somari. Torrita di Siena is a well preserved hilltop town not far from the Autostrada and on the way to Siena.

Torrita di Siena

Not to be outdone by their slightly more famous neighbour, in 1966 the townspeople of Torrita di Siena began the Palio dei Somari…the donkey Palio.

I arrived  the day before the race to get the lay of the land and to find good positions to see the parade that will go through the town tomorrow. I had time to wander through the narrow streets bedecked with the flags of the various contrade…the areas of town competing in the race.

Torrita di Siena

There are some gorgeous views of the Tuscan hills from the edges of town.

Torrita di Siena

I was really lucky with my choice of place to stay. It is a lovely little apartment, called Casa dei Fiori right on the path for the parade and less than 50 metres from the piazza where the celebrations will begin with flag throwing and drummers. The owners are delightful and they are going to show me some of the other apartments tomorrow, so you can all come next year for the Palio.

I got to watch some of the participants practising this afternoon.

Torrita di Siena

Torrita di Siena

This is where the race will be run tomorrow afternoon…I have my ticket.

Torrita di Siena

Torrita di Siens

Here is a photo of a photo from a vantage point that I won’t have. This is the piazza where the festivities will begin.

Torrita di Siena

…and some old photos of the race and the donkeys.

There will be an exhibition later tonight and I will be there…I love a bit of flag throwing and drums.

The streets are getting dark.

Torrita di Siena

I will be jostling for a position in front of the bar. The next post will be the celebrations…and the race.

Torrita di Siena


  1. Oh, it looks so lovely there! Cheer on the donkeys and their riders for me 😀

    • It is gorgeous here…let the fun begin. I will mention your name to the donkeys.

  2. Oh, what fun!

    • I really love these festivals in Italy.

      • They have a character all of their own!

  3. Sounds fabulous. I am sure you are in for a great time. Some very good photos including a couple of very nice looking flag throwers. What a lovely little town. That night sky is the most striking colour

    • I did notice the handsome fellows. That lovely young boy sat next to me while I was watching and we had a chat.

  4. It sounds like a lot of fun, we may be going next year. Enjoy!

    • You should. It is fun…can’t wait until tomorrow.

  5. Sounds very interesting! You have a very great time! We are arraved 2 days ago and still dont now about life around). See you soon.

    • I’ll be back Monday.

  6. You always seem to find the most interesting festa’s and places to visit. Another event to add to my list for next year. Have made reservations for three nmonths in Lucca next winter/spring.

    • This is an excellent festival. You must come next year.

  7. I love donkeys! I am eagerly awaiting your next post. Some more photos of the two legged participants would be nice, too.

    • I will be trying for photos of both…just for you.

  8. I’m not keen on donkeys but I thnk it would be worthwhile going to watch the flag throwers!!!!

    • The flag throwers are amazing. They make it look easy and I am sure it isn’t

  9. A visit is needed even if the race has been run

    • It is a cute little town and very close to Montepulciano and lots of other great spots.

  10. Looking forward to seeing the festivities.

    • Me too, I haven’t seen a donkey yet.

  11. What fun Deb how far is this from Bagni? Jan is Ancona being nonna for 2 months.

    • It took about 2hours 30 minutes to drive here from Bagni di Lucca.

  12. I love sweet donkeys!! One day I want to run a donkey refuge 😀

  13. Oh what a spectacle. Glad you are enjoying. How far from Bagni di Lucca ?

    • Torrita di Siena is about 2 hours 30 minutes from BdL.

  14. Didn’t know about this place or this tradition! Looks like it’s only 28km from Castiglion Fiorentino. Looking forward to your next post about it. 🙂

    • There is a connection with Castiglion Fiorentino. Last Saturday there was a team from your town on show in Torrita di Siena.

  15. And thanks for the Italian eye candy Debi!!!

    • There will be much more…including that lovely boy dressed in blue.

  16. Would love to join you next year Debra! 😉

  17. […] I love the donkey Palio in Torrita di Siena.  […]

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