Siena: A Morning Walk in A Medieval City

The city of Siena is one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany. This medieval city follows the contours of three hills, and is bordered by 7 kilometres of ramparts built between the 14th to 16th centuries. These walls, with their bastions and towers, are pierced by gates that are double at the strategic points. Siena is a city of brick, characterised by steep, twisting stone alleys, ancient tower houses and medieval palazzos.

The whole city of Siena, built around the town’s 13th century main square, the Piazza del Campo. This square is Siena’s symbolic heart and was specially designed to blend into the surrounding landscape. It is home to the Palio,  an infamous horse race that occurs every summer.

Piazza del Campo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Below are some snapshots that I took during my 4-hour visit to Siena.

First view of Siena from Basilica Cateriniana
Don’t let this inconspicuous landscape from afar fool you. Siena hides dozens of Gothic palaces, unseen rivalries and artwork of unsurpassed beauty behind its medieval walls.
Mangia Tower ( Torre del Mangia) is a bell-and-clock tower at Piazza del Campo. Built in 1334, it is 290 feet high offering amazing views across the city of Siena. However, you need to be fit to climb up the 500+ steps.
The facade of Siena Cathedral with its magnificent sculptures. It was built between the 1100s and 1300s in Gothic Romanesque style.
Siena Cathedral (the Duomo) stands out with its unique striped black-and-white marble.  This photo captures part of the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Bell Tower.
Siena’s winding narrow streets and tall tower houses. Cars are not allowed on the streets of historic Siena where most of the tourist attractions are found. The cars seen here fall outside the historic area. Parking is fairly easy but not necessarily cheap.
Gothic houses with wooden window shutters
Large crowds on Siena’s streets
Piazza del Campo, the main town square, has been the cultural and civic center of old Siena since the 1100s. The atmosphere in Piazza del Campo is lively and vibrant. Everybody appears happy and stress-free when they are in Siena.
Piazza del Campo has lots of restaurants, pastry shops and wine bars. This coexistence of ancient with urban, is one of Siena’s main attractions.

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