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Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani

The Contrade

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Currently there are 17 Contrade in Siena, considerably reduced from the original 54. Each Contrada is like a small state within the city and manages its own recreational activities, administration, its archives, a museum containing works of art and the costumes for the processions, and a Sala delle Vittorie containing all the Palio banners won through the centuries. Some of these banners date back to the 17th century. Each Contrada also has its own church as well as a stable for keeping the horse before the Palio.

Each Contrada is governed by a Council, which is democratically elected every two, three and sometimes four years. The Council is called Seggio or Sedia. The most senior member of the Council is called the Priore Capo della Contrada and he is assisted by a secretary known as the Vicario Generale. All matters concerning the Palio are managed by an elected Capitano, who is assisted by two Tenenti, or Mangini.

It is generally agreed that the Contrade are a derivation of the Compagnie Militari in which the city was divided for the organisation of its militia. Each Contrada took part in the public events held in Piazza del Campo with a procession and allegorical carts representing exotic animals such as the panther, the giraffe, the eagle, the leocorn etc.

The existing boundaries between the Contrade were laid down in an edict issued in 1730 by the then governor of Siena, Beatrice Violante of Baviera. This was an important step in that within its boundaries each Contrada is empowered to conduct the so-called questua to gather funds for the public feasts in Piazza del Campo.

It is important to understand that every Senese is first of all a member of his Contrada, which becomes a second family and the place where he conducts all his everyday activities. The members of each Contrada are named as follows:

  • Contrada dell’Aquila: aquilini

  • Contrada del Bruco: brucaioli

  • Contrada della Chiocciola: chiocciolini

  • Contrada del Drago: dragaioli

  • Contrada della Giraffa: giraffini

  • Contrada dell’Istrice: istriciaioli

  • Contrada del Leocorno: leocaioli

  • Contrada della Lupa: lupaioli

  • Contrada del Nicchio: nicchiaioli

  • Contrada dell’Oca: ocaioli

  • Contrada dell’Onda: ondaioli

  • Contrada della Pantera: panterini

  • Contrada della Selva: selvaioli

  • Contrada della Tartuca: tartuchini

  • Contrada della Torre: torraioli

  • Contrada del Valdimontone: montanaioli



  General information
Town map 
Siena in the Renaissance 
Siena in the Middle Ages 
Siena in Antiquity 

  Transport in town
Map of Hotels in Siena 
Town Map Siena 

  Transport out of town
Train services 

  Where to Stay
Farm Holidays and Country Houses  
Residence, Apartments 
Bed & Breakfasts 
Historical Residences 

Reservation Services Siena 
Last Minute Siena 

  Where to eat and drink
Disco Dancing 
Pubs & Wine Bar 

Siena University 
University for Foreigners 

  Art and monuments
Palazzo Piccolomini and Palazzo delle Papesse 
Palazzo Chigi-Saracini 
Palazzo d’Elci degli Alessi 
Loggia della Mercanzia 
Palazzo Sansedoni 
Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari 
Fonte Gaia fountain 
Carthusian Monastery of Pontignano  
Forte di Santa Barbara 

  Art and religion
Church of Sant’Agostino 
The Duomo – The Cathedral of the Assunta 
Church of the Osservanza  
The Oratory of San Bernardino 
Church of San Francesco 
Short Biography of St Catherine of Siena  
St Catherine Sanctuary 
Church of S. Niccolò al Carmine 

  Museums and galleries
The Museo Civico 
Bologna-Buonsignori museum 
Accademia dei Fisiocritici 
I Musei Senesi 

  Art and tourist attractions
Cappella di Piazza 
The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia 
Piazza del Campo 
The Montagnola Senese and the Fortified Village of Sovicille 
The Castles of Belcaro and Quattro Torri 


  The Palio of Siena
The Origins 
The July and August Palio 
The Contrade 
The Days of the Palio 
The Drappellone 
The Eve of the Palio 
The Corteo Storico Procession 
The Race 
The Patron Saint and Oratory of Each Contrada 
Weekly Appointments in each Contrada from April onwards 

Via di Città (formerly Via Galgaria), Siena’s Most Elegant Street 
Croce del Travaglio Place 
From Piazza del Campo to the Duomo Along Via di Città 
The Curves of Piazza del Campo 
Costarella dei Barbieri street 
Borgo d’Ovile 
The Terzo of Camollia – main streets 
Casato di Sopra e Casato di Sotto 
Terzo di San Martino district  
The Terzo di Città District - Via Stalloreggi, Via San Quirico 
The Terzo di Città District – The Pinacoteca Nazionale 

  What to see & do
Wedding in Siena 
Golf courses in Siena and Tuscany 
Wedding in Tuscany - Siena area 
San Casciano dei Bagni 
Chianciano Terme 
Bagni San Filippo 
Bagno Vignoni 
Rapolano Terme - Baths of San Giovanni and Baths of the Antica Querciolaia 
The Countryside around Siena and its Thermal Water Springs 

  Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata - nature tourism the year round 
SkiPass Monte Amiata 
WebCam sul Monte Amiata 
Meteo Monte Amiata 

  Specials - Out of town
Gift Ideas for traveling 
The Val d’Orcia and Its Main Towns 
Pienza - the old town centre 
Montepulciano - the old town centre 
San Quirico d’Orcia - the old town centre 
Montalcino and the Land of Brunello 
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the Crete 
The Crete Senesi 
Castellina in Chianti and the Via Chiantigiana Towards Siena 
Siena and Southern Chianti - from the Castle of Montalto to the Castle of Brolio and on to the Castle of Meleto 
The Chianti Hills - Monte Calvo, Monte Luco and Monte San Michele 
Cortona and the Valdichiana 
San Gimignano - The old town centre and its major sights 
The Val d’Elsa - Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa 
Along the Old Via Francigena 

  Typical products
Typical Tuscan flavours 
Oleum Evo online selling 
Sapori Tipici Italiani buy online now 
il Prosciutto Cotto