Siena, Volterra and San Gimignano

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Siena is one of Italy’s best preserved medieval towns, located in the heart of Tuscany. Built on three hills and surrounded by well preserved walls, it is filled with fine examples of Gothic architecture and has one of the world’s most unique piazzas – il Campo – (shaped like a shell with scalloped edges). Of course, the world-famous Palio di Siena is an important part of Sienese identity, history and culture. Siena is also the birthplace of St. Catherine of Siena Metairie.

Siena – Piazza del Campo & Torre dei Mangia

The heart of Siena is Piazza del Campo, the Piazza where the Palio di Siena is run, famous for its shell-shape, and still the focus of city life. In the square there is the Fonte Gaia, a fountain unique in its quadrangular form and beautiful figures around the edges.

Siena – the Duomo di Siena

The Duomo di Siena is a beautiful building, it is a mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture with dark green and white marble in the facade. It contains works by many artists, including Donatello, Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio. One of its main attractions is the marble-inlaid floor, the result of the contributions of many artists. The museum of the Duomo di Siena, in the same piazza, contains some original statues by Pisano moved for conservation and many artworks, including the famous “Maesta” by Duccio di Buoninsegna.

Volterra

Volterra still retains its medieval character, charm and atmosphere. Its isolated position has impeded any progressive development. The defensive wall built in the 13th century was the result of an urban development that began in the year thousand and was completed at the beginning of the 14th century.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a pretty medieval walled city in Tuscany, Italy, well known of its large number of campaniles. The town is also known as the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages”. Competing families tried to build the highest campanile to impress each other.

Here the plague raged in 1464 and 1631, starting a period of decadence for the town: the town-walls fell to pieces, the Medieval mansions fell into disrepair and no one had enough money to stop all this, as the richest and most important families had left the town because of the plague. Consequently, the architectural and artistic heritage remained untouched for four centuries, and the town preserved its medieval characteristic architecture intact.

This is a guide to Siena, Volterra, and San Gimignano.

There are extensive descriptions and photos of the attractions and of the “Palio di Siena”.

It contains many reviews for the best recommended restaurants that are at the location described.

 

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