Visiting its historical centre is a unique experience because Siena is an open-air museum. The fulcrum of the city is the famous Piazza del Campo. It has an oval form and it has always been the political, economic and civil centre of the city through which its antique craft and cultural traditions, its events, its wine and oil and its cuisine has been transmitted for millennia to future generations.
Palazzo Pubblico, an example of gothic architecture, was built during the Governo dei Nove (the government of the 9 magistrates) at the time of the peak of the city’s splendour as an independent political entity harbours to this day the mayor’s offices. From the internal courtyard of the Palazzo one accesses the Museo Civico and the Torre del Mangia, at the top of which one enjoys a splendid view of the city after climbing 500 steps.
The magnificent Duomo di Siena and the surrounding buildings are also not to be missed because among they are among the most significant cultural artistic sites of Europe. This is particularly true for the Museo Civico which contains some of the most important paintings of the Scuola Senese.
One of the events of Siena which are most followed nationally and internationally is the famous “Palio di Siena”, a very competitive horse race among the inhabitants of the various city sections which is celebrtaed every year in the summer. The origin of this race seem to go back to the 17th century.