Have you ever been to a medieval town? Siena is one of these ones! In this city, the buildings are high while the roads are narrow, but as soon as you turn a corner WOW! You will have the chance to see the magic Piazza del Campo or a magnificent view of Siena hills. You can visit the city center on foot. Siena has been inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO since 1995 so that a few cars are allowed to circulate inside the ancient walls. This way everybody can walk around more relaxed and easily take their photos.
In Siena, there are many places to visit such as the Palazzo Pubblico, which was to house the Republican Government, consisting of the Podestà and Council Nine in 1290. Here you will find the magnificent frescoes painted by Domenico Beccafumi, Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Simone Martini, the medieval masters. Next to the palace the Torre del Mangia stands. It will not be easy to climb the 500 steps to reach the top, but the overview is worth while!
A few steps away the Cathedral of Siena is wonderful Gothic building. The inside of the Cathedral will make you fall in love! You will be amazed by marble mosaics that make up the floor of the Cathedral and the tide of frescoes and sculptures created by various artistic geniuses for example Pisano and Michelangelo. Do not miss the opportunity to climb the Cathedral and look down on the floor, just as it was built / designed to be seen by God’s eyes. Tourists can only see the floor of the Cathedral of Siena from July to October . Contact us to help you book your ticket.
Opposite the cathedral, you can find the Hospital Santa Maria della Scala. This building, which is now a museum, is one of the first examples of xenodochium (hospice for foreigners ). Here St. Catherine of Siena and her sisters helped ill people and welcomed the Via Francigena pilgrims.
Don’t miss to visit the Medieval fonts in the city center. The “Bottini” which is passage ways (a network of underground aqueducts used to take water in Siena).
The Bottini network consists of the main Fontebranda branch, the Casato branch, and the main Fonte Gaia branch. These fountains will welcome all the tourists thanks to their beauty.
The Piazza del Campo is the heart of the town. This shell-shaped square is divided into nine sections to represent the democratic Council Nine that governed Siena from 1287 to 1355.
The famous horse race called “Palio” has been held every year on July 2 an August 16 almost without fail 1656. It is one of the most important events for a local people. A Medieval parade precedes the Palio and attracts visitors and spectators from all over the word. Siena is divided into 17 Contrade or districts, 10 horses, riders bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent 10 of the 17 Contrade.
The race lasts a few minutes and the winner is determined by wich horse crosses the finish line first.
The winning Contrada is presented with the “Cencio” that is a silk banner. The Palio is more than a simple horse race. Formal and informal rituals take place as the day proceeds, wich each Contrada planning a strategy of alliances and animosities. If you want to live this magic atmosphere, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are sure you will be very impressed.
We can accommodate you in one of our best apartments near Piazza del Campo during your stay. It is possible to book a dinner in one of the 17 districts and book tickets for the Palio.
For further information about Palio, you click on www.ilpalio.org.