Shepherd Entertainment takes you on a tour of Siena, the capital of the province of Siena that built in the heart of Tuscany
on three levels which rise out of the surrounding hills.
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Siena was built in the heart of Tuscany on three levels which rise out of the surrounding hills. The red clay Tiera De Siena is favorable to Chianti Classico Grapes; which give a beautiful red wine. As far as the eye can see, there are vineyards and olive groves which have made the city rich. It may have been named after a Roman colony called Sanalulia although legend has it, it was named after Romulus’ nephew, Sanus, and that’s why the city code of arms contains the Roman female wolf. Saint Catherine and Saint Bernardino were also born in the city. Religious mysticism left its mark on the city for centuries. The art treasures and paintings of its mini churches made it the spirit. The city competed and fought with Florence during the entire middle ages declaring its separation and only coming under the rule of Tuscan Grand Dukes residing in Florence at the end of the 16th Century. The city is preserved its Gothic style, the streets leading to the cathedral and the shell shaped main square Il Campo, the descending small streets, the narrow stairs, the gilded gates, the quiet squares and the typical form of the burnt well bricked buildings. Regardless of which pedestrians only pass through, suddenly the most beautiful medieval square of Tuscany appears before us. The irregular semi-circular sloping area gives us a magical experience. On the red brick cover laid down in a fishbone design, rays of white stripes direct our eyes to the town hall, the Palazzo Publico. It’s unusual that the building is located neither in the center of the square nor on its highest point but on the contrary. This form breaking solution makes the view unforgettable and our sole stand Siena which opens its heart to us declares the inscription on the town gate. The word paleo means flag. And it’s not only in Siena that this traditional medieval horse race with the black and gold flag is held but the one in Siena is the most famous. It’s a Mediterranean fiesta with real atmosphere and shouldn’t be missed. It’s held twice a year on the second of July and 16th of August. A magnificent pageant precedes the race when teams, horses and riders with ten districts appear in costume; then the race begins in which the jockeys ride bear back. The race itself consists of 3 laps at the Piazza De Ocampo. The town hall is as isometric as the Piazza itself. The 3 part brick building dating back to the 13th Century or made with lancet windows crown with battlements is like a knight’s castle. Its 102 meter high belfry, rising on its left side is very similar to the power of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The Logia like chapel was built on the occasion of the end of the plague at 1348. Opposite this, the Fontegaya googles at the highest point of the square. The fountain is the end of a 25 kilometer long water conduit. The statues and reliefs are copies of Dia Copo’s work. We don’t need to go far to see the originals which were in the city museum in the Palazzo Publico. On the balcony of some of the houses flanking the small square, cafes can be found from which we can watch the coming and going on the Ocampo. Like in the bricked covered square in front of the Pitti Palace, people sit down on the ground here too; as if they were having a picnic. They sun bathe listen to music, eat, relax and read while the pigeons come in the Italian Piazzas trot around them. Although all the medieval palaces flanking the pedestrian zones have their own story, tourists don’t usually pay much attention to them. They all hurry to the cathedral. The cathedral stands on a Z-shaped square. It was built in Romanesque style on the side of an ancient Minervan sanctuary; but before it could be finished, it was converted to Gothic style. Its façade was planned by Giovanni Pisano. The slide elevation and the belfry have retained their medieval shape and black and white marble stripes. The 3 isle inner space is colorful and monumental. How monumental would it be now? With the Seinese had succeeded in building Italy’s biggest church compared to what’s this one would have been only a modest side isle. They actually started to build it but the plague which took 30,000 people through cold water on the gigantic scheme. They didn’t demolish the walls they built so far, that’s why they setup the museum of the cathedral. After the epidemic, the city was only able to build the small chapel of the town hall. Steep stairs made to the Baptistery under the cathedral. It was originally planned to be a crypta. Its statues were made by Decopo Delaquesta who also designed Fontegaya, Queberte and Donatello. Besides the treasury and gallery, we must remember to go to the terrace from where there’s a beautiful view of the city. Siena’s inner city has been a Pedestrian zone since 1959. On the ground floor, where the Gothic Palace is, the typical goods of Tuscany are sold in the shops. It’s worth stopping for a minute in front of the Palazzo Tatouchi especially for businessmen, brokers and other bankers; because it’s the oldest still operating bank of the world. The archeological museum can be found in a building that used to be a hospital built in 1225. The municipal archives are located in the Palazzo Pefelomini but the Palazzo Von Seniore is home to the national gallery. The 700 pictures painted on panels and exhibited here give a total review of Sienese painting between the 12th and 16th Centuries.