This central Tuscan city is distinguished by its medieval brick structures and Gothic churches. It has a fairytale quality, displaying centuries of craftsmanship and fine art.
The Palazzo Pubblico dominates the fan-shaped Piazza del Campo, and the buildings surround the piazza in a fascinating circular fashion. The Gothic town hall is impressive, and Torre del Mangia, a slender 14th-century tower with sweeping views from its distinctive white crown dominates the skyline. Siena sits in the heart of Tuscany and is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, the renowned horse race.
The Palio is the most important event in Siena, taking place on July 2 and August 16 every year. In the Palio the various Sienese contrade, or areas in which the city is divided, challenge one another in a passionate horse race in the heart of the city in the Piazza del Campo. The excitement is palpable as the entire city participates and the streets become the racecourse. Each jockey represents his contrade and each has a color and coat of arms with a representative icon, such as a turtle, unicorn, dragon, or giraffe. If you are fortunate enough to be in Siena during the Palio, you must witness this unique tradition.