Siena

Siena was once one of Italy’s proudest city states. From the 1200s to the 1550s it waged wars with Florence and Spain alike. The conflicts, and outbreaks of the Black Death, took their toll, though, and the town soon fell into obscurity. That is, until now. These days, it’s hailed as a window into the glorious past of a doomed republic. Redbrick towers clamber overhead. The Siena Duomo has more filigrees and fusions of architectural styles – from Classical allusions to touches of Parisian Gothic – than you can shake a Chianti red at. And if you’re lucky enough to be passing through in August, you won’t want to miss the Palio. It’s an adrenaline-pumping horse race that takes place on the oval Piazza del Campo each summer.

Siena was once one of Italy’s proudest city states. From the 1200s to the 1550s it waged wars with Florence and Spain alike. The conflicts, and outbreaks of the Black Death, took their toll, though, and the town soon fell into obscurity. That is, until now. These days, it’s hailed as a window into the glorious past of a doomed republic. Redbrick towers clamber overhead. The Siena Duomo has more filigrees and fusions of architectural styles – from Classical allusions to touches of Parisian Gothic – than you can shake a Chianti red at. And if you’re lucky enough to be passing through in August, you won’t want to miss the Palio. It’s an adrenaline-pumping horse race that takes place on the oval Piazza del Campo each summer.

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