Italy - Siena



Siena, in the province of Tuscany, is not far from Florence and was once that city's rival in wealth and power. The most outstanding feature of this city is its intense color. The bricks used to build the city are made from the burnt siena-colored earth giving it a harmonious look that makes the city a living masterpiece. At any time of year it is a joy to visit, but in July and August, the city comes alive for the running of the Palio, a horse race with a history that goes back to the city's medieval heyday.

A view of the city

Here you can see the color for which Siena is famous.

The Duomo

Siena's Duomo or Cathedral is built of marble and dark green stone, giving it somewhat of a zebra striped look. It contains works of art by Pisano, Donatello and brass reliefs by Ghiberti who created the bronze doors of the baptistry in Florence.

The Palio

This is a banner announce the July 2 running of the Palio, the horse race in which different parts of the city (called contrade) compete against each other. During this time, residents become so obsessed with winning that married couples from di fferent zones often split up until the race is over!

To read more about the Palio, check out this page.

Streets of Siena

Here the streets are decorated with flags representing the 17 contrade of Siena. Each one can be recognized by its colors and the name of its mascot. They include Civetta (the owl), Chiocciola (the snail), Tartuga (t he tortoise) and Lupa (the wolf).

Next Page of Siena The Story of the Palio

Other pages to visit:

Italy: Travelogue Venice Siena 2 Florence Amalfi Coast Isle of Capri Sicilian Islands
Other countries: Europe Turkey Nepal India Japan Thailand
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All text and photographs Copyright (c) 2001 Naomi S. Smith

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