Incredibly crowded, not least during the yearly festivities in July, Siena is a must-see in Tuscany.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 717:
“Siena is the embodiment of a medieval city. Its inhabitants pursued their rivalry with Florence right into the area of urban planning. Throughout the centuries, they preserved their city’s Gothic appearance, acquired between the 12th and 15th centuries. During this period the work of Duccio, the Lorenzetti brothers and Simone Martini was to influence the course of Italian and, more broadly, European art. The whole city of Siena, built around the Piazza del Campo, was devised as a work of art that blends into the surrounding landscape.”
I had the opportunity to witness the famous horse race the “Palio” during my second visit in 2007. I wrote this:
“Me and the boys went off to Siena. Today is the “dress rehearsal“ for tomorrows Palio. That is a bi-annual big deal that has been staged since the 17th century. It is basically a horse race around the large piazza Campo in the city centre. It is famous for its surroundings and the content of the race with fights between the different parts of town, old costumes and thousands of spectators.”