Siena Events and Festivals

(Siena, Tuscany, Italy)

Photo of city parade, with dancersThe Italian city of Siena is undoubtedly best known for Il Palio, two spectacular horse races which are held during the summer, amidst much pageantry. During the rest of the year, though, Siena plays host to many other popular traditional festivals, along with sporting events and seasonal things to do, see and enjoy.

To find out information about events taking place in Siena, including music concerts and annual festivals, visitors should look out for posters displayed at various locations through the city. In particular, these can be found around Piazza del Marcato.

Siena Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • New Year's Celebrations - celebrations are traditionally held in Piazza del Campo. These include a music concert each year
  • Siena International Guitar Festical - with five guest muscians this free festival, held in early January, pays tribute to different guitar music styles including blues, jazz, classical and Latin


  • Fa Volare - mid-February, a series of children's shows are staged by theatre companies every Saturday over several weeks, ending in March. These are aimed at children aged from 3 to 11 years


  • Fiera di San Giuseppe - a traditional festival in March, which celebrates the feast of St Joseph. Stalls are set up in Siena's Contrada dell'Onda and there are donkey races, floats and tournaments


  • Pasquetta - 'Little Easter' takes place on Easter Monday, which usually falls at the beginning of April. On this national Italian holiday, families take picnics into the city or surrounding countryside


  • Maggiolata - this annual May festival of traditional song and dance signals the arrival of long summer days in Siena


  • Siena Jazz Festival - held in June and carrying through to July, a series of jazz sessions and concerts are held in locations throughout Siena, including the Logge del Papa


  • Il Palio - held on 2nd July each year, Il Palio is a major event on the city's calendar. The Palio is an unusual race involving bareback riders dressed in 15th-century costume. Each rider represents one of Siena's 17 contrade, or city districts. The riders and horses process through the streets, ending at Piazza del Campo where thousands wait to watch the race. The event is held again in August
  • Estate Musicale Chigiana - music concerts are staged in churches, palaces and theatres throughout Siena for two months every summer


  • Il Palio - held on 16th August. Once again, the Piazza del Campo echoes to the sound of people cheering as they watch the second round of Il Palio. The first race is held in July
  • The Aromatic City - a summer festival held in Siena and featuring rock, jazz, ethnic music and dance


  • Siena Film Festival - a festival of Italian and foreign films held in a variety of locations throughout the city


  • Antiques Market - an annual October antiques fair held at the Fortezza in Medicea
  • Treno Natura - a chance to travel the rural line between Asciano and Monte Antico in specially restored carriages. The 'Nature Train', as it's known, departs from Siena


  • Siena International Short Film Festival - a programme of innovative short films and animations by filmmakers from all over the world, with a special focus on young talent in the film industry. As well as screenings, there are also exhibitions and prizes awarded in various categories
  • Settimana Musicale Senese - a music festival staged each November by the Accademia Musicale Senese
  • Feast of Santa Cecilia - a varied programme of concerts, staged in honour of the patron saint of music


  • Fiera di San Lucia - on 13th December, Siena celebrates the Feast Day of St Lucia. Ceremonies are held in the church of Santa Lucia, a pottery fair and market stalls are set up in the streets of Siena, and outdoor poetry is performed
  • Festa dell'Olio - held in mid-December. This traditional festival celebrates olive oil produced from the first crop of the season harvested earlier in the month. As well as olive oil tastings, there's plenty of music and dancing to keep everyone entertained