The good life beauty
Siena (altitude 322 metres above sea level) is a brick city of the Middle Ages, proud of its past, with dozens of Gothic palaces, churches and museums. In 1995 it became part of the World Heritage of UNESCO.
The itinerary for the visit of this splendid city is developed along the main street.
It starts from the enormous and severe Saint Domenico church, important testimony of Gothic architecture, but where the relics of Saint Catherine, Patron of the city, are preserved. Following the main street, the guided tour includes an explanation of the Gothic façade of Palazzo Salimbeni, seat of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Siena’s powerhouse bank founded in 1472 and still a strong player in Italian finance, to reach the Cathedral, true masterpiece of the Gothic architecture and rich treasure house of Tuscan art.
It was built from around 1215 to 1263, involving Gothic master Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni. At the entry to the right transept is Nicola Pisano’s masterpiece pulpit (1268), on which he was assisted by his son Giovanni and Arnolfo di Cambio. The tour finishes in Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful and suggestive piazzas in all of Italy. Crafted like a sloping scallop shell, the Campo was first laid out in the 1100s on the sight of the Roman forum.
Here is the city focal point, Palazzo Pubblico and Palazzo Sansedoni. At the top of the campo, is a 19th-century replica of Jacopo della Quercia’s 14th-century masterpiece fountain, the Fonte Gaia. Twice a year, Siena packs The Campo with a horse race around it, the highlight of a full week of feasts, parades, spectacles of skill and solemn ceremonies. The tradition goes back to at least 1310.