Siena was originally an Etruscan settlement that later became the Roman city of Sena Julia. According to local legend, Siena was founded by Senius and Aschius, two sons of Remus and thus nephews of Romulus, after whom Rome was named. This colony disappeared, but the new Siena that later developed flourished under the Lombard kings.
Siena is famous worldwide for the Palio, the horse race of medieval origin that sees the ring to run the districts of Piazza del Campo.
The path in the name of art reveals the masterpieces of Duccio, Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti and the great masters of the Sienese school of painting held in major museums and palaces.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site
The walls surrounding the old town make Siena a perfect example of a medieval city: the charm of architecture is visible in buildings, such as Rocca Salimbeni and the Public Palace, Piazza del Campo with its monuments, the Cathedral, the Baptistery and other religious buildings. One of the most famous squares in the world, renowned for its beauty and architectural integrity is Piazza del Campo, where you can admire the Torre del Mangia and the Palazzo Pubblico, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza.
Piazza del Duomo is dominated by the imposing structure of Siena’s cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. It’s a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture. The building stands over an existing church that in turn was built over a pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva. The Latin cross design of the church includes three naves and is entirely sheathed in strips of alternating black and white marble, a reference to the black and white colours of the coat of arms of the city of Siena. The interior of the Duomo reflects the polychrome use of marble decorations present in the exterior and makes clever use of light from the outside to create a mysterious effect of shadows.
Along the main streets of the medieval town, old food shops, taverns, restaurants and wine bars keep the ingredients, products and recipes of traditional Tuscan food and wine.