Siena is maybe Italy's finest medieval city, and a visit worth making even if you are in Tuscany for just for a few days. Siena's heart is its central square known as Piazza del Campo, known worldwide for the its famous Palio, a horse race run around this marvelous square two times a year, in summer.
It is said Siena have been founded by Senius, Remus's son, one of the two mythical founders of Rome and Siena's emblem is the she-wolf who nourished Remus and Romulus. The city is over three hills with its very centre the huge piazza del Campo, where the Roman forum was. Rebuilt during the period of the Council of Nine, a not-so-democratic group from 1287 to 1355, the nine sections of the fan-like brick pavement of the square represents the council and symbolizes the Madonna's cloak which shelters Siena.
On one side of The Campo there is the red Palazzo Pubblico and its tower, Torre del Mangia. Along with the Duomo of Siena, the Palazzo Pubblico was built during the same period of Council of Nine. The civic palace still houses the city's municipal offices much like Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Its courtyard has entrances to the Torre del Mangia and to the Civic Museum. If you feel active, you can try a climb up the over 500 steps. A wonderful view of Siena and its surroundings will reward you very well. The Museum, on the other hand, offers a number of the greatest of Sienese paintings. The Sala del Concistoro houses one of Domenico Beccafumi's best works, ceiling frescoes of allegories on the virtues of Siena's medieval government. But it is the Sala del Mappamondo and the Sale della Pace that hold the palaces's must: Simone Martini's Maestà and Equestrian Portrait of Guidoriccio da Fogliano and Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Allegories of Good and Bad Government.
Like all the towns and cities in this spectacular region Siena is unique also for its wine and food. Numberless exquisite tastes are at every corner. Delicious wines, meat dishes where traditions meet new times, pasta for everybody, pastries made with love.