July 07, 2014

What to see in Tuscany: Siena, between art and folklore

Siena, Tuscany
The ramparts, one of many vestiges of the glorious medieval past of the city, still dot the hills surrounding the sweet Siena, which gave the world the color "sienna" (the typical reddish color of its buildings) and in the thirteenth century produced a thriving artistic movement called the Sienese school.
The growth of the city, in the heart of Tuscany, in that period halted abruptly because of economic crisis and epidemics, starting from the plague of 1348 that killed 65,000 of the 100,000 inhabitants. Fortunately Piazza del Campo, the most beautiful medieval square in Italy, was completed just in time with the pretty town hall and the emblematic Torre del Mangia and the Fonte Gaia.

With its marble black and white striped facade, the  Duomo of Siena is really wonderful, a masterpiece of Romanesque-Gothic style.
The already impressive building would have to be much larger, as revealed by the unfinished nave and the "facciatone" to the right of the plant, but the project was stopped because of the plague of 1348.
Siena, Tuscany

The city center is lovely and its surroundings are even more fascinating, with the rolling hills of the Chianti valley and its vineyards as a backdrop. But when you say Siena, thoughts go immediately to the Palio, the horse ride that has its origins in the Middle Ages, held twice a year (July 2 and August 16) in the central Piazza del Campo.
Visiting Siena for the Palio, which in turn involves ten of the seventeen "Contradas", the districts of the city, is a unique experience that allows you to discover the enthusiasm with which the Sienese still live this historic event.

PS. If you are instead planning a trip to Siena soon, click here to start looking for a cheap accommodation!

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