SIENA: PARKS AND GARDENS
Arriving in a medieval town like Siena, surrounded by its medieval walls, the visitor would be surprised to find many green spaces inside its historical center. It not only about simple gardens, but real natural oasis nestled between its narrow streets. You can find the organic garden in Orto dei Pecci, the panoramic parc at Orti dei Tolomei but also an ancient Botanical Garden. Last but not least, the parc inside the Fortezza Medicea, perfect for a walking by the sunset.
SIENA AND THE WATER
Despite its distance from the seaside, the relationship between Siena and the water is strongly bounded to the history of the town. The continuous research of Diana river by the Sieneses has always been the plot of many legends. In Siena you can visit the bottini, actual underground tunnels testifying the ingenious water supply. Water that comes up on surface with the marvelous fountains that you can find in many parts of Siena: Fonte Gaia, Fontebranda, Fonte Nuova d’Ovile, Fonte del Casato…To show this connection between the town and the hydric element, the Museo dell’Acqua has been opened recently in the Fonti di Pescaia.
When you say “Siena” you say “Palio”. The horse race held wice per year on the gorgeous Piazza del Campo is now well-known in the whole world. Even if it is an event followed by international media, it still makes tremble the hearts of Sienese in the same way since centuries. Beyond this you have a world to discover, or actually 17 different worlds: the Contradas. The curious visitor would discover museums with secular treasures, the Palios (the painted canvas rewarded to the horse race winner), real masterpieces. 17 museums, 17 baptisimal fonts, 17 churches: the richest treasure.
For the one passionate about photography, but also for the one who simply likes the emotions of an unforgettable view, Siena offers many belvederes that must not be missed. From there, it is possible to admire the mild hills of the countryside crossing roofs, towers and belfries of the historical center. Here just a few of them: Basilica dei Servi, Fortezza Medicea, Orti dei Tolomei and San Prospero. Magnificence, at every time of day and night.
THE POPES OF SIENA
The relevance of Siena in European history is a matter of fact, but not many people know that there are four popes with Sienese origin: Alexander III, Pius II, Pius III and Alexander VII. Walking through the streets of Siena it is easy to recognize their influence: Logge del Papa, Palazzo Chigi-Saracini and many other monuments dedicated or commissioned by the popes to enrich their city. A reason to discover some new spots of Siena.
SIENA AND THE MUSIC
Music is a great part of popular tradition in Siena. You just need to see the town during the Palio days and to listen to the passionate voices of the contradaioli singing centuries-old songs. There are many institutions contributing to keeping alive this musical richness of all kinds: Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali “Rinaldo Franci”, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and Siena Jazz school.