From the Back Cover: It was May 2013 when Thomas Paradis convened in Siena, Italy, with a cohort of American faculty and students to lead a two-month inaugural study-abroad program. After a harrowing journey across the ocean, students and faculty alike soon realized that adapting to a foreign culture and language would be more challenging than they expected, especially amid one of the world’s more authentic community festivals—the Palio horse race.
In Living the Palio, Paradis weaves witty stories of personal discovery with a crash course on Siena and its ferocious twice-yearly horse race. As the July 2 race and its related rituals draw closer, Paradis details how he and his wife uncovered the impressive local communities that underlie the life and blood of the age-old Palio in order to better understand what drives the passion of its residents. When the race finally begins, Paradis provides a compelling upfront view of the action and the race’s aftermath, pulling in the collective experiences of his students as their eyes and minds open to seeing the world in an entirely new way.