The Piazza del Campo in Siena slowly began to fill and by 4.30pm they had locked us in the centre of the track with still a couple of hours before the big race - the Palio de Siena. We had returned to the town just for this traditional horse race around the main square. While we waited with the hundreds of locals and tourists, watching the stunning medieval parade of flag wavers and drummers, we downed a few glasses  of red. At 7 pm the horses took off, racing around the tight course along the outer edge of the piazza. A puff of smoke marked the end of the race. We didn't know who won, but we jumped and cheered with the crowd. We were right amongst it all and it was an amazing experience, one we will remember for a long time.