Italy trip celebrating Kevin’s 50th!
Not every brithday can be celebrated in a big way but there are landmark birthdays that deserve to be celebrated in a huge way. Kevin, my partner, wanted to celebrate turning 50 years old in Italy. An event on his birthday, July 2nd in Siena is this legendary horse race, the Palio, that’s been going on for over 500 years and he wanted to be in the stands to experience it. We spent time in the northern part of Italy, Lake Como after arriving in Milan for a few days.
We hadn’t spent much time in Milan before so a few days there to start was necessary. Afterwards we went to Lake Como to relax before traveling down to Florence to meet up with a friend on our way to Siena. The horse race takes over the entire town, as you would expect. The neighborhoods, or Contradas, each submit a horse and rider for the race and they also put out this amazing meal that tourist can join in for the night before. The race is filled with a couple hours of pre-race parades where, mostly men from each contrada wearing midevil type costumes in the colors of their neighborhood parade around on the track before the 90 second horse race is actually done. Yes, it’s about 90 seconds from when the horses start and complete 3 laps. Afterwards the winning contrada gets bragging rights for the year.
We did go back to Florence for a few more days to meet up with another friend to wrap up the trip. Needless to say we did our share of eating! Pasta, Gelato, Florentine Steak, Gelato, Lake Fish, Gelato, Aperol Spritz, Gelato, Esspressos, Gelato. I think you see a theme evolving. We may have had a few slices of pizza, too.