Walking through the different Contrade, the neighbourhoods Siena is strictly divided into, Ivo shares his ambiguous relationship with Contradaioli. He explains that they generally aren’t keen on letting anyone from the outside into their exclusive world. The fights that sometimes broke out between the Contradaioli and the students due to a wrongly placed comment were illustrative for this attitude. Luckily the owners of the restaurant “Le Segrete” were made out of different pasta and happily shared the ins and outs of being a Contradaiolo.
It isn’t only about the famous yearly horse race Il Palio di Siena in which the Contrade compete against each other. It’s about living for your Contrada with pride, day in day out. About passion and love for your roots and, if necessary, about defending them. You might call them crazy, but this fired attitude does surely turn Siena into a city with a soul.