AMO ITALY Travel Guide

Italy Travel Guide, About Italy Tourism & Tourist Information


About Siena

View Larger Map

Siena in TuscanyThe view from the Tower of Manja of Piazza del Campo in the heart of the city of Siena. The color of Siena is very beautiful reddish brown.

Beautiful medieval town, Siena

Siena, an ancient town in Tuscany county, is distant 60km from Florence down to the south. Its population is 57.000 people and this town is the prefectural capital of Siena prefecture in Tuscany county. Siena Univercity founded in 1240, Conservatory of Chigiana and University of Siena for Foreigners (Universita' per Stranieri di Siena) flourish this town as an important academic place. Also it's important for the art history, because in the 14th century the art school of Siena was born here.

World Heritage Sites in Tuscany

Siena with beautiful medieval buildings is known as a World Heritage Site town, toghether with San Gimigniano in Tuscany. In 1995 the entire town was designated a World Heritage Site. Its beauty ows just about its historic prosperity. Already during the Roman Empire (around 5th century) Siena had becom one of the major towns on the main highway linking Rome and France. Siena had richened its commercial finance, industry, handicraft industry. Even in the 13th century it became the center of finance in the entire Europe. The world's oldest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (1472) was born in this town, and still now you can find some streets named like "Via Banchi di sopra" or "Via Banchi di sotto" (Banchi means Banks).

Siena and Florence are still at strife

The town of Siena lost more than half of the population because of the plague epidemic in 1348. In addition in 1555 Florence defeated Siena and the prosperity of Siena finished... When the Renaissance art occurred in Florence around the 15th century, in Siena the medieval Italian Gothic style was thriving, and the Siena School celebrated its splendid paintings. Politics, economics, arts and religoius conflicts..., Siena and Florence were always opposed and it's said that they have a lump still now.

To see once in a lifetime, Palio

There is also another component which make famous the town of Siena: the Palio held every July and August. The town is divided into 6 areas called "Contrada" and horse racing will be held in Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. Siena people are passionate about this Palio and looking forward to watching it every year.