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Located right in the heart of Tuscany, Siena stands out for its medieval aspect and the wealth of art and history. Due to its extraordinary historical beauty, it has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Located in a hilly context, this small town perched on three hills offers pleasant views and can also be seen from numerous points in the surrounding areas.
Even the culture and traditions have remained those of the past, with the subdivision into 17"districts" that form active communities throughout the year. These districts, distinguished in names and symbols, compete in the characteristic Palio di Siena twice a year, famous throughout Italy. The Palio is a very popular horse race in the city and takes place exactly on 2 July and 16 August in Piazza del Campo.
This is just a brief summary of the history and culture of this small and wonderful city, which can only be savored by experiencing it and seeing it live.
Among the numerous beauties of Siena, right in the heart of the city, Piazza del Campo stands out, whose characteristic shell shape and whose color, which approaches that of the sunset and the surrounding buildings, make it one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Right here, between these colors and this atmosphere, the Palio is held.
Inside the square shines the white marble of Fonte Gaia, the most important of the sources of Siena but not the largest. This record belongs, however, to Fontebranda, also located in the historic center.
Around the square you can admire the numerous noble palaces, while in the center of the diameter stand out the Torre del Mangia in height and the Palazzo Pubblico in size, buildings built in the fourteenth century, emblem of the importance and wealth of the city in that historical period.
Inside the Palazzo Pubblico, it is possible to visit the civic museum of Siena, a museum that illustrates the major artistic works of medieval Sienese art. It will also be possible to climb the Torre del Mangia, to see the whole city and the surrounding hills from above.
There are numerous churches of tourist interest in Siena. Not far from the square is the Duomo di Siena(or Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta), an imposing medieval cathedral of the thirteenth century, whose further extension was interrupted by the plague of 1348. Around it, it is possible to notice the works not completed of this project.
Built in the Romanesque-Gothic style, the cathedral has rich decorations and representations both on the external facade and in the floors and internal naves. Its bell tower, with its 77 meters high, reaches the highest point of the city, together with the Torre del Mangia.
At the rear of the cathedral there is the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista, while, in front of the facade, there is the entrance to the museum of Santa Maria della Scala, a building that had previously been a hospital for many centuries.
Another imposing historical church is the Basilica of San Domenico, which was built on a ground so hard that it holds its weight, overlooking the road. The importance of this basilica lies not only in its history but also in its link with Saint Catherine of Siena.
Siena is also a pilgrimage destination, both for the life of the saint, of which it is possible to visit the Sanctuary of Santa Caterina da Siena, and for the miracle of the sacred hosts in another historical context.
Other important churches are the Church of Santa Maria di Provenzano, the Basilica of San Francesco and the Church of Sant'Agostino. There are numerous other interesting churches to visit and each district has a church within the territory that represents it.
The Rocca Salimbeni is located along the main road between the Basilica of San Domenico and Piazza del Campo. It is an important historic building from the 14th century and home to a historic bank of Italy, the Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
Around the city the walls have remained almost intact and there are numerous entrances to the historic center. Among the wall structures, it is interesting to visit the Medici Fortress, a large fort that dominates the surrounding landscape, can host large events and is ideal for relaxing walks.
If you come from the train station, you can easily see the Antiporto di Camollia, a fortification outside the walls in the direction of Florence, and Porta Camollia, not far away.
The Bottini di Siena are underground tunnels built in the Middle Ages for the water supply of the city, which extend for about 25 km under the entire plan of the city and still feed its historical sources from the aquifers.
To book the visit, simply contact the Municipality of Siena. You will be surprised by the ingenuity and the great work done with the rudimentary means of the time.