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History, Italian Society, Presentation

Siena’s Palio

Pride, Passion & Pandemonium

May 16, 2024
6:30 pm

Presented by the American Italian Cultural Roundtable
Bill Ronayne, President

Siena’s Palio
Pride, Passion & Pandemonium

A lecture and visual presentation by
Carla Gambescia
Author, Travel Journalist & Lecturer

Please note:
This event is only open to members of Casa Italiana and the
American Italian Cultural Roundtable.


In her presentation, Carla Gambescia will explore the fascinating traditions and history behind the race which lasts a mere 75-90 seconds but represents the climax of a fiercely competitive all-consuming year-round rivalry between 17 contrade (districts) of Siena. The audience will experience its colorful pageantry virtually through stunning photographs taken in 2019 and also Siena’s beautifully preserved artistic treasures.

Carla Gambescia is an Italian cultural “edutainer” and the award-winning author of La Dolce Vita University: An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A to Z, a highly informative celebration of Italy’s capacious culture. She is also a travel journalist, lecturer and avid photographer. Carla grew up in an Italian enclave in South Philadelphia. Her passion for Italy began early with her mother’s love of the Renaissance masters and her father’s discourses on Italian geniuses of every calling. In the ensuing years, she’s written about and toured every region of Italy on foot or by bicycle. Carla was a former partner in the Ciao Bella Gelato Company and for a decade owned and operated Via Vanti! Restaurant and Gelateria in Mount Kisco, NY. Today Carla regularly speaks on myriad topics of Italian cultural interest and MC’s Cultural “Trivia” Challenges throughout the United States and abroad. Venues include continuing education organizations, schools and universities, museums, libraries, fine dining and retail establishments, private clubs and Italian cultural organizations.