Want to know more about Sienna, Italy? Read on for facts and info on this wondrous city of Italy…
Credited as being a UNESCO world heritage site, Siena is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in Italy. It is located in Tuscany and also serves as the capital of the province of Siena.
One of the things that gives character to this Italian city is the fact that it has retained its ward-centric culture that it inherited from the medieval times. The city is divided into different wards with each ward having a specific animal or mascot to represent it. At the same time each ward is also distinguished by its own boundary and thus has its own identity. Ward rivalries can be witnessed during the annual horse racing event known as Palio, held in the Piazza del Campo.
Main Site of Siena
Siena has a myriad of sites that attract visitors from all over the world. The main cathedral at Duomo is one of the most prominent architectural structures that serves as a fine monument of Italian Romanesque architecture. It is believed that this cathedral was erected in the 12th century. The façade had reached its completion by 1380. There are several elements of the cathedral’s architecture that distinguish it from other Christian cathedrals of its time. One of the most striking differences is in the fact that it has an axis that runs from north to south. Initially it was supposed to serve as the largest Christian cathedral in the world but the ruling authorities had run out of finances to complete the project which is why it was left as it is today.
Another popular site of Siena is the Gothic octagonal pulpit created by Nicola Pisano. This pulpit is supported on lions and features an intricate labyrinth that has been inlaid on the flooring. Furthermore it exhibits penitents kneeling down. A number of renaissance frescoes produced by Ghirlandaio have also been preserved in Siena. Along with this you will also get to witness the great works of bas-relief by renowned Italian artists such as Donatello, Jacopo della Quercia and Ghiberti as well as other prominent 15th century sculptors. Pinacoteca in Siena is an excellent place to visit if you want to experience the historical artworks of legendary Italian artists.
Perhaps the most well-known site of Siena is its town square known as Piazza del Campo. With the unique shape that curves like a shell this town square is home to a number of different architectural treasures such as Torre del Mangia and Palazzo Pubblico. However this place is particularly noted for hosting the annual horse race festival. While being an important work of architecture itself, Palazzo Pubblico also has a unique art museum that has collections of artwork from many great Italian artists.
Also among the sights to see in Siena is the Palazzo Salimbeni. This is a notable building that served as the medieval headquarters during the rule of Monte Dei Paschi di Siena. This building is used for one of the major banks of Siena and its bank is credited as being one of the oldest banks to be in continuous operation. Siena has its own conservatory of music which is housed in the Gothic Palazzo Chigi.