“I highly recommend the services of husband-and-wife team Leonardo di Bracali and Silvia Santini of Fonte Gaia Tour.
My husband and I are from Canada and had never been to Tuscany before. We were interested in visiting Siena and viewing the famous Palio event. Not only did Leonardo help us to procure top tickets with a perfect perspective of the square and the race, he also helped us to learn about the personal significance of this day and why it is so important to the Sienese people.
Leonardo and Silvia greeted us warmly — and helped us find parking! They then walked us around their historic metropolis, and finally to their personal contrada, Leocorno, to witness the famous drumming and flag throwing, as well as the spectacular blessing of their race horse, which was held inside their contrada’s church. To any other spectator, such an experience would certainly be spectacular, but with Leonardo’s heartfelt explanation and sincere enthusiasm, we were able to imagine what it might be like to grow up and belong to a contrada. We learned first hand that the people of Siena first belong to their contrada (regional district) and second to their city. A person’s contrada is central to one’s community, to one’s family and, essentially, to one’s identity. Naturally, during the race, we cheered for Leocorno.
After any experience in a foreign place, it is always the people that leave the most lasting impression. My husband and I left Siena feeling a unique connection with Leonardo and Silvia, that they had opened their home up to us and treated us like friends. They are truly knowledgeable and passionate about their homeland and a wonderful resource and guide for understanding the beautiful, ancient history of Siena.”
Patricia Gajo, Canada