About the city of SIENA
Contry: Italy | Region: Tuscany
Population of the Country: 57,403,421
Languages: standard Italian, no dialects.
Time: GMT/UTC plus one hour (plus two hours in summer)
Annual growth: 0.06%
Religion: Roman Catholic 98%, other 2%
SIENA: Surrounded by olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti, Siena is one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany. Set on three hills, the city is drawn together by winding alleyways and steep steps, whilst the Piazza del Campo stands at its heart, and the Duomo and St Maria della Scala serve as additional cultural landmarks. Famed for the "Palio", the annual historic horse-races that take place on 2 July and 16 August, it is also home to one of the oldest Universities in Europe, which ensures a vibrant Italian student atmosphere throughout the academic year. In addition to the bustling daily life of the streets and squares of the city, Siena offers many cultural events, concerts, cinema, theatre and a wide range of sporting activities.
Few geographical areas in the world can boast of the variety of environment that surrounds Siena. To the north, we have the richness of the Chianti landscape, woven with vines and olive-trees throughout the hills. Here also are beautiful towns like San Gimignano and Monteriggioni with old walls, winding streets and incredible views. South of Siena, the Arbia valley leads to the hill-top town of Montalcino, home to the famous Brunello wine. And the area La Crete stretches out, amazing visitors with its harsh rock formations and unique landscape. Westwards we head towards the coast, to captivitating coastline towns like Castiglione della Pescaia, and nature reserves like the area called Maremma. With such natural beauty within easy reach by car or public transport, Siena is a good place to base yourself for a Tuscan experience. The Chianti area, between Florence and Siena, is one of the most beautiful countrysides in Italy and a famous wine production area.
... SIENA: FIRST TOUCH ...
Siena was originally divided into areas, called "Terzi" that means Thirds; the first one, called "Terzo di Città" was the earliest inhabited area of the city.
TERZO DI CITTA'
In the "Terzo di Città", there still is Piazza Postierla, which features the smallest window in the world, situated on the building on the right of the square. Via di Castelvecchio used to host, on the highest hilltop of the area, and the Castelsenio, refuge of Remus according to legend, and the Cappella delle Ceneri di Sant'Ansano, where the city 's first martyr is said to have been jailed. In Via di Stalloreggi, there is the Madona of the Crow, built where according to legend, a crow fell in 1348, spreading the plague through the city. The "Terzo di Città" also has the Duomo, an imposing cathedral of black and white marble, and the museum of Santa Maria della Scala, set in the structure of one of Europe's first hospitals, as well as Palazzo delle Papesse, which has held a famous Center for Contemporary Arts for several years, now closed.
National painting gallery
Address: Palazzo Buonsignori, Via S. Pietro 29
Maria della Scala
Museum complex hosting temporary exhihbitions besides being permanent
Address: Piazza Duomo 2
Offical Website: http://www.santamaria.comune.siena.it
TERZO DI CAMOLLIA
"Terzo di Camollia" takes its name from the City Gate, called Porta Camollia, which faces the direction of Florence, the traditional enemy, and therefore was always heavily guarded. "Terzo di Camollia", among others, includes what is nowadays the main shopping, banking and leisure street of the city, Via Banchi di Sopra, with the two squares, Piazza Salimbeni and Piazza Tolomei. "Terzo di Camollia" also hosts several Basilica: S: Maria in Provenzano, in commemoration of whom the Palio race is held on the 2nd July each year, S. Francesco, S. Domenico, and the Fortezza, an imposing fortress.
Santuario di S.Caterina
The Saint’s own home
Address: Costa di S. Antonio/corner via Fontebranda
TERZO DI S.MARTINO
"Terzo di San Martino" and Piazza del Campo: the area expanded around the Francigena way, the pilgrim route heading to Rome. S.Martino was the name of the patron saint of pilgrims. In this area, there is Piazza del Campo, at the heart of the city. "Campo" means field, which is what it used to be until it was transformed into a paved square as we can see it today. This is where the Palio is held, twice a year on the 2nd of July and 16th of August. In Piazza del Campo there are the Palazzo Pubblico (city hall), the Torre del Mangia, with a magnificient view of the whole city from the top of the tower, and the famous fountain, Fonte Gaia, as well as many other churches and small medieval streets.
Address: Piazza del Campo, 1
Torre del Mangia
Visit the famous Tower of Mangia
Address: Piazza del Campo
Museo per Bambini
Address: Piazza del Campo