AN UNFORGETTABLE FLEXJET WEEKEND IN SIENA
July 5, 2023
When it comes to passionate sporting spectacles, there is little to rival the extraordinary Palio di Siena, and this month we were delighted to welcome Flexjet aircraft Owners to Tuscany, Italy, for an exclusive weekend experience, designed around this historic horse race.
Steeped in history, with its origins dating back to medieval times, the Palio di Siena sees 10 horses and bareback jockeys – each representing one of the contradas (districts) of Siena – ride three laps around the city’s large central square, the Piazza del Campo. The drama is stoked by the unique format, whereby one competitor (called the Rincorsa) is chosen by lottery to start the race, thereby holding significant power and sway with the others in the moments beforehand.
The race is passionately contested and deeply felt, attracting thousands of spectators to the streets of the beautiful, historic city of Siena each summer. To witness the Palio is truly an unforgettable experience, and Flexjet Owners enjoyed a feast for all the senses over a carefully crafted two-day event.
Anticipation, drama & a record-breaking win
The celebrations began with a welcome champagne reception and dinner on the eve of the Palio at the 15th century Palazzo de’ Vecchi, building the anticipation with an overview from Palio experts on the race and its rich history.
On race day itself, Owners were invited to walk to Piazza del Campo in the morning to soak up the atmosphere and to watch the Provaccia, the final horse trial. Later they escaped the 14,000-strong crowd by retreating to Flexjet’s private apartment with balconies overlooking the start line – providing one of the best views of the race and its preceding pageant, accompanied by refreshments and hospitality from the Flexjet team.
Each Sienese contrada is named after an animal or symbol and this year’s winning contrada was Selva (meaning forest), with legendary jockey Giovanni Atzeni (known as Tittia) riding the horse Violenta da Clodia. After a nerve-wracking and dramatic run up to the start that saw over half an hour of realignment of the competitors’ start order, the rope went down and the pair enjoyed an impressive, convincing victory, leading from the front. This was a record-breaking fifth consecutive win for Tittia, and his tenth victory at the Palio.
Following the euphoric finish in the square, Flexjet guests were driven the short distance out of the city to Villa di Geggiano, a beautiful Tuscan wine estate. There they enjoyed an alfresco dinner in the stunning gardens, accompanied by some exceptional local wines and live classical music performed in the amphitheatre. A delightful way to commemorate and relive the excitement of the Palio.
A unique weekend, matched by extraordinary travel
Such a uniquely memorable occasion was complemented by an outstanding travel experience for our Owners, who flew in and out on the European Flexjet fleet featuring the Praetor 600 and Gulfstream G650. There are several convenient airport gateways for Siena, including Florence Airport (LIRQ); Pisa International Airport (LIRP); and Grosetto Airport (LIRS).
For further information about Flexjet’s European programmes and Owner benefits, please contact our team using the form below or call us on +44 (0) 203 856 8151.