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Siena & S. Gimignano

Siena PalioThe sole living model of Medieval city, Siena has Etruscan origins; Former Roman colony, later conquered by the Florentines in 1555 becoming part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The city branches out over three ridges of hills called "terzi" and subdivided into "contrade" (wards).

Piazza del Campo, the main square, is the core of the city and with its scallop-shell shape it is the venue for the famous Palio (horse race): colors, big shouting crowds, 10 bareback ridden horses -  representing each ward -  for a race lasting only a few seconds, yet to the Sienese it represents their history and their life.

 

 

 

 

Siena Duomo

 

Not to be missed: Gaia Fountain (by Jacopo della Quercia), Torre del Mangia, the Civic Museum, Piccolomini Palace, Piazza Duomo, the Pinacoteca Nazionale. 

Continuing to the north, we have the richness of the Chianti landscape, woven with vines and olive-trees throughout the hills. Also here you will find  beautiful towns like San Gimignano and Monteriggioni with old walls, winding roads and incredible views... 

 

 

 

SAn Gimignano TorriSan Gimignano is a medieval village perched on a hill over 300m above sea level, famous for the ancient city walls and its towers dominating the whole valley heritage of the social flourishing and political supremacy of the city (XI and XIII century): 72 towers were built, each higher than the previous one. Today, only 13 of those towers are still standing, others are in ruins, but still visible. Declared by UNESCO World Heritage site. The Cathedral ( Duomo) is considered one of the most precious museums in Tuscany with its collection of frescoes from the Florentine School: Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico Ghirlandaio e Jacopo della Quercia; the Palazzo Comunale holding art pieces by Pinturicchio, Filippino Lippi, Domenico di Michelino, Pier Francesco Fiorentino...

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