Arts + Culture

James Bond's Greatest Travel Moments

by Matthew Link

SIENA, ITALY

In the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace, 007 chases the baddies around the alleys, rooftops, and terraces of Siena during the Palio di Siena horse race (pictured), landing himself on (and through) the glass roof of an art gallery—but we recommend you get your thrills from the actual race. About 40 miles south of Florence, the medieval town of Siena is renowned for the Palio. Brightly costumed horsemen ride bareback around the city's ancient Piazza del Campo, risking life and limb as they whip past thousands of onlookers. The race has been going for over 300 years and happens twice annually, every July 2 and August 16. If you're looking for even more action, take a drive around Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, about halfway between Milan and Venice. Garda doubles for its near neighbor Lake Como in the film's breakneck opening car chase—mind the guardrails on those blind curves. For more sedate pleasures, check out the Bregenz Festival in the Austrian town of the same name, located on the shore of Lake Constance. Bond spies on the evil masterminds of the Quantum organization from above the festival's surreal floating stage, complete with a set dominated by a huge blue eye during a performance of Puccini's Tosca. In 2009, Verdi's Aida will be performed in equally dramatic surroundings from July 22 to August 23.

Palio di Siena
Email: ilpalio.org@tele2.it

Lake Garda
Tel: 39 0309 149 511

Bregenz Festival
Tel: 43 5574 4076

NEXT: Bond at first blush >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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