Siena is located in the Tuscany Region of Italy. The province is home to many fascinating and famous sights. The province’s capital, which was named after the province itself, is a small city that is most popular for Il Palio. The Palio Horse Race happens twice a year, every July 2 and August 16. It is a colorful and festive event that locals and tourists highly anticipate. In the heart of the city is Piazza del Campo, one of the largest medieval piazzas found anywhere, that functions as the racetrack for the world famous Palio. It is a shell-shaped piazza where various historically significant structures stood and survived time. The Palazzo Publicco is Siena’s City Hall and an architectural feat, built during the 13th century. It is a magnificent Gothic building that houses the Civic Museum where famous frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Simon Martini are restored. It also provides access to Torre del Mangia, the bell tower of Piazza Chapel, where anyone can climb up to enjoy the stunning view of Siena.
One of Siena’s finest Romanesque-Gothic art expressions can be found on the walls, columns and arcades of The Duomo, also known as Cathedrale di Santa Maria. The statues, frescoes and even its pulpit by Nicola Pisano are masterpieces worth seeing. The black and white cathedral reflects impeccable mastery in arts and architecture. The cathedral is a piece of art in itself but more works of art lie in the confines of Museo dell’Opera del Duomo which houses the famous Maesta by Duccio. You can also find well-preserved frescoes in Libreria Piccolomini, a library that holds a collection of books owned by Enea Piccolomini, who later became Pope Pius II. The library was built by his nephew Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini, Siena’s Archbishop at that time, who afterwards became Pope Pius III. The Pinacoteca Nazionale is Siena’s national museum and contains one of the largest collections of Sienese paintings from the 14th to 15th century. Some works featured are Guido da Siena’s St. Peter Enthroned, Simone Martini’s Blessed Agostino Novello and His Miracles, Bartolo di Fredi’s Adoracion of the Magi and Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Annunciation.
Another city in the Siena region is Poggibonsi. The Palazzo Pretorio with its Torre del Podesta was the city’s local government seat until Palazzo Comunale was constructed in the 19th century. It is one of the main sights of the city. It also hosts a paleontological museum. In the Church of San Lorenzo nestle the paintings St. Nicholas by Neri di Bicci and Madonna delle Grazie. A 14th century wooden crucifix by Giovanni d’Agostino is also found within this church. One of the most important features of Poggibonsi is the Basilica di San Lucchese. Here you can find the terracotta statue of Immaculate Concepcion by Giovanni della Robia and frescoes by talented artists, one of them Bartolo di Fredi. The Castello della Magione, once home to Knights Templars, presently serves as Militia Templi’s headquarters.
Another hill town in the province of Siena is Montepulciano. It is known worldwide because of its wine, one of Italy’s best. Aside from its agricultural significance, Montepulciano is also known for some important structures. The Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Tarugi and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta are some of them. Chiusi, on the other hand, is a small town widely known for its Etruscan museum. Etruscan artifacts found in the Etruscan Museum of Chiusi are some of the most significant Etruscan remains in Italy. The Labyrinth of Porsenna is a series of Etruscan tunnels, which were probably used as water drainage. The Romanesque Cathedral of San Secondiano is the oldest of its kind in Tuscany.
San Gimignano is a medieval, walled town. It is known for its majestic towers and its architecture, thus the nickname “Town of Fine Towers”. The Historic Center of San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Piazza Duomo, buildings of great importance are located. The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta is famous for its impressive frescoes, and Palazzo Comunale is the seat of the city’s governing authority. It also contains a gallery and museum that showcases pieces by great artists such as Fillippino Lippi, Benozzo Gozzoli and many more. The Palazzo Podesta is also notable for its huge arched loggia. There are fourteen towers in this city that are carefully conserved and are known internationally. These are Campanile della Collegiata, Torre Rognosa, Torre di Palazzo Pellari and eleven others.