Siena, the heart of Tuscany, represents Italy before the Renaissance. With its soaring brick buildings, enormous fan-shaped Piazza del Campo with the Gothic town hall Palazzo Pubblico, and the 14th-century tower Torre del Mangia, Siena is an open museum of medieval architecture, art, and history. Its Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, is a wonderful example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture in Italy with white and green marble creating striped patterns so characteristic of Siena.
The church not only fascinates with its architecture but also with the art of Michelangelo, Donatello, Pisano, and Pinturicchio. Most of the world learned about Siena through movies showing the famous Palio di Siena horse races that turn Piazza del Campo into a circus twice a year. Another of Siena’s claim to fame is its fantastic cuisine – every third door leads to a restaurant, wine store, or deli.
Photo: JFL Photography/Fotolia
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