The Palio of Siena: Passion, Prayer, and Place with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski - Context Travel

The Palio of Siena: Passion, Prayer, and Place with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski


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The Palio of Siena is one of the most historic horse races in the world, yet for many visitors and guests, it is an event whose rituals remain hidden behind a veil of misunderstanding and confusion. Shrouded in mystery and infused with a rich, enduring mythology, the Palio is so much more than a race; to the Sienese, the Siena is an expression of life itself. This seminar will explore the rich historical, cultural, and spiritual contexts of Siena’s oldest horse race.

Led by an expert in Italian literature and culture, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D., this interactive seminar will introduce participants to the history, ritual, and culture of Siena as it is expressed through the Palio. We will explore and discuss the medieval foundations of the race; the rivalries and allegiances; the spiritual and religious connection to the Madonna, and much more.

Participants will develop a deep cultural awareness of the way that the identity of Siena is inherently tied to this twice-yearly event and will learn to look beyond the bold colors and bright sights of the race to understand the truly magnificent splendor of Siena’s most precious treasure. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a nuanced understanding of and appreciation for the historical and cultural appreciation of the Palio of Siena.

Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean of International Programs and Education Abroad for the College of Arts and Sciences and is also an Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D from Yale University in Italian Language and Literature and has taught Italian language, literature, cinema, history and culture in both the United States and Florence, Italy prior to arriving at Kent State. Her current research is on Italian author Clemente Rebora.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
88%
(7)
13%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.E.
Terrific Virtual Visit to Siena!

We very much enjoyed learning more about the history of the Palio. We visited Siena Nov-2019 & stayed at an apartment facing the Piazza del Campo. Our host shared a bit of 2019 Palio & her contrada came in 2nd place. We could not imagine all the people, it was great to learn & see photos. Cannot wait to visit Siena again one day.

P
P.D.

Great “conversation “ I learned so much about Palio, all very interesting and memorable. Great story and told with personal connections.

C
C.
Learn it from someone who lives it

How incredibly special I felt to learn about the ancient ceremonies surrounding the Palio from Dr. Stasiowski - a real life member of a contrada in Siena! I loved hearing her very personal, funny, and informative stories of what it's like to live through the calendar of events associated with the Palio - and why it's been happening as it has since the middle ages! This talk felt like a real behind-the-scenes look at the very sacred and secret life of the contradas. The combination of Dr. Stasiowski's extensive knowledge of Sienese history + unique lived experience make this a talk not to be missed.
Forza Onda!

J
J.a.S.M.
The Palio

A wonderful over view of the history and passion of the Palio. We were in Siena in Oct 2018 and there was a Palio happening, we knew little about it. We witnessed one of the horses being lead through the streets followed by a throng of singing revelers. I think that Kristin captured this exciting unforgettable event with her enthusiasm for the Palio and the people of Siena

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
88%
(7)
13%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.E.
Terrific Virtual Visit to Siena!

We very much enjoyed learning more about the history of the Palio. We visited Siena Nov-2019 & stayed at an apartment facing the Piazza del Campo. Our host shared a bit of 2019 Palio & her contrada came in 2nd place. We could not imagine all the people, it was great to learn & see photos. Cannot wait to visit Siena again one day.

P
P.D.

Great “conversation “ I learned so much about Palio, all very interesting and memorable. Great story and told with personal connections.

C
C.
Learn it from someone who lives it

How incredibly special I felt to learn about the ancient ceremonies surrounding the Palio from Dr. Stasiowski - a real life member of a contrada in Siena! I loved hearing her very personal, funny, and informative stories of what it's like to live through the calendar of events associated with the Palio - and why it's been happening as it has since the middle ages! This talk felt like a real behind-the-scenes look at the very sacred and secret life of the contradas. The combination of Dr. Stasiowski's extensive knowledge of Sienese history + unique lived experience make this a talk not to be missed.
Forza Onda!

J
J.a.S.M.
The Palio

A wonderful over view of the history and passion of the Palio. We were in Siena in Oct 2018 and there was a Palio happening, we knew little about it. We witnessed one of the horses being lead through the streets followed by a throng of singing revelers. I think that Kristin captured this exciting unforgettable event with her enthusiasm for the Palio and the people of Siena

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment