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Siena, return to the Middle Ages

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Siena, return to the Middle Ages

Where: Siena
Genre: events    culture   nature   wine and food   folklore   useful information   

In the central area of Tuscany in an area between the Chianti hills, the Montagnola and the Crete Senesi, is Siena, a city considered, together with Florence, a historical, artistic and cultural city par excellence. Municipality that has more than 54,000 inhabitants and provincial capital, in 1995 it was included by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site, for having kept the architectural style and street furniture intact over time, keeping it intact as inherited from the Middle Ages , golden age for the village. Settlement inhabited in the Neolithic, the agglomeration took urban shape starting from the Etruscan period but only around the tenth century, with the flourishing of trade, it found itself at the center of some crossroads between important communication routes, many of which led to Rome, and from this strategic position he drew his fortune. The privileged relations with the State of the Church meant that the Sienese bankers were a point of reference for financing and loans. Thus began a period of undisputed splendor for the city, both economic and artistic-cultural. Today Siena is the perfect transposition of the intact medieval center, with houses and buildings with facades exclusively in bricks and stone and the streets of the center strictly paved or cobbled. Among the jewels that meet on the way, the first is Piazza del Campo, center and symbol of the city, an open-air arena in the shape of a shell in which the city districts from 1200 compete twice a year, on 2 July and on August 16, in what is the folkloristic competition par excellence, attractive for thousands of tourists nationally and internationally, the Palio. It is an equestrian race in which each horse represents the colors of a district, that is a district of the city, the prize for the winner, which can also be an unsaddled horse, that is without its jockey, is the Palio, a cloth called the Drappellone or rag, a symbol of prestige for the district that wins it. In the square there are some of the most important monuments of the city, such as the Palazzo Pubblico, or Palazzo Comunale, with its typical battlements, the seat of the government of Siena for over 700 years and today also the seat of the Civic Museum. Next to it stands the Torre del Mangia, one of the oldest in Italy, dating back to the first half of the '300, composed of 87 meters of bricks and 102 meters high up to the lightning rod, with over 300 steps inside to climb to the top . Also worth admiring is the Fonte Gaia, a fountain built entirely of Carrara marble. Another marvel to visit is the city's cathedral, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, located in the square of the same name in front of the ancient Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. It is a church with a majestic line, completed around 1370, in a Roman-Gothic style with alternating facades made of white and black marble, the colors of the municipality. Its importance among the European artistic heritages is also given by the fact that inside there are paintings by Lorenzetti and Pinturicchio and sculptures by Donatello and Michelangelo. For those looking for some Sienese specialties to satisfy the palate, obviously the real sin of gluttony is the Panforte, the Ricciarelli and the Cantucci di Mandorle, perhaps immersed in the local Vin Santo.

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