Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.
The city is historically linked to commercial and banking activities, having been a major banking center until the 13th and 14th centuries. Siena is also home to the oldest bank in the world, the Monte dei Paschi bank, which has been operating continuously since 1472.
Several significant Renaissance painters worked and were born in Siena, among them Duccio, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Sassetta, and influenced the course of Italian and European art.
The University of Siena, originally called Studium Senese, was founded in 1240, making it one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world.
Siena was one of the most important cities in medieval Europe, and its historic is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From January until the end of September of 2021 it had about 217,000 arrivals, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from Germany, France and the Netherlands. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year in Piazza del Campo.
A unique work of art, which has no comparison in our western world … one complete animal, with head, heart, arteries, legs, of which remains the almost intact skeleton, deposited on three hills.
Bernard Berenson speaking of Siena
Piazza del Campo
Piazza del Campo is the main public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The Palazzo Pubblico and its Torre del Mangia, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza. At the northwest edge is the Fonte Gaia.
The twice-a-year horse-race, Palio di Siena, is held around the edges of the piazza. The piazza is also the finish of the annual road cycling race Strade Bianche.