Siena is set right in the middle of Central Tuscany, between the Chianti hills and the Maremma area. In earlier times, it was an Etruscan city, later it was conquered by the Romans. Siena prospered in the Middle Ages and its well-retained buildings in pure Gothic style have, even today, an impressive appearance of medieval authenticity. Like Rome, the city is set on seven hills and consequently not very many streets are flat.
The shell-shaped town square, Piazza del Campo, is famous for hosting the yearly Palio, a horse race between the city’s 17 districts. It takes place on July 2nd and August 16th. The square is surrounded by palaces, dating back to the 12th century, i.e. Palazzo Pubblico, which still today functions as the city’s town hall. The palace houses an art museum and the huge medieval halls, including the town hall are open to the public.
Torre del Mangia next to Palazzo Pubblico is, with its 102 meters, one of Italy’s highest bell towers. Climbing up the 505 steps, you will be awarded by the magnificent view over the entire city. The Duomo, Sienna’s cathedral, was constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is one of the few churches in Gothic style, built south of the Alps. Inside, the pulpit was created by Pisano and the floor, a mosaic of inlaid marble panels by some of the best artists of the region. You can only see it once a year, in September when it is uncovered.