Piazza Il Campo At Sunrise | Siena, Italy

II Campo in Siena, Italy following the II Campo Race.

Piazza Il Campo in Siena is a very bustling place but before the sun rises it becomes very tranquil. At this time, eyes are not distracted by the day life of the city, you can focus on the details of the composition above. Until you see the sun-star on your screen and the square begin to “wake up” again.

The beating heart of this city

I envisioned this composition weeks before I could capture it. Whilst enjoying our 4-week stay in Italy, we stayed in a villa in the middle of the Tuscan valleys and then visited the lively Siena on the weekends. Piazza Il Campo is the beating heart of this city, especially during the annual horse racing “Palio di Siena” which we witnessed. They take place exactly there, under the Torre del Mangia (The Tower above) and the Palazzo Pubblico (the building lying to the right of the Tower). It was the first city that I saw the city square that was built in the shape of an amphitheatre – the sign of Palio’s importance for Siena’s communities.

According to Italy’s statistics, II Palio is part of the ten out of the seventeen districts that compete twice a year for champion. The jockeys ride bareback and are dressed in the district national colours of which they come from. All that happens are due to certain local customs, the pride from particular communities and very colourful displays. It was also very moving for us personally, though we were only passing by. And even though this photo was taken a week following the race, it will forever remind me of the II Palio.

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