The city of Siena is a medieval delight whose historic centre is deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is said that during medieval times, Siena’s rivalry with Florence extended to largesse in urban planning, and the effect is divine.
- The colours that symbolise the city of Siena – black and white – can be seen in the Duomo, which is also noted for having one of the finest mosaic marble floors in Italy.
- The main square of Siena is the sloping Piazza del Campo. The paving on the square is unique, shaped like the radiating lines of a clamshell.
- The Palio di Siena is a horse race that occurs twice a year in the Piazza del Campo, on July 2 and August 16. Jockeys take on fiercely tight turns in the Piazza, riding bareback in a madly quick race that lasts under two minutes (see the Palio on Youtube).
- Focal point of the Piazza del Campo is the Palazzo Pubblico. There are many frescoes to be found inside, including Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s famous frescoes on good and bad government.
- The Pinacoteca Nazionale (Art Gallery) is located in the Palazzo Buonsignori, and contains a large collection of 13-16th Sienese paintings.