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In 1995 the historic center of Siena has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Surrounded by olive groves and Chianti vineyards, Siena one of the most beautiful Tuscan cities. Sitting at the top of three hills, the city has many lanes and narrow alleys that all arrive and lead to the heart of the city: to Piazza del Campo and to other culturally important buildings like the Duomo and the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital. Siena is famous for its Palio horserace that is held every year on July 2nd and August 16th. Siena also houses one of the oldest Universities in Europe. Alongside the animated daily city street life, Siena offers many cultural events, concerts, cinema, theater and a wide range of sport activities.

Surroundings of Siena

There are few geographical locations in the world that can be so proud of the environment that you will find in and around Siena. You can enjoy the richness of the Chianti countryside to the north, with its vineyards, olive groves and panoramic small towns like San Gimignano and the walled city Monteriggioni. La Arbia valley to the south leads to Montalcino, the land of the infamous Brunello wine. The Crete territory, with its rugged rock formations, offers a unique and spectacular countryside. Going west will take you to the seaside and to the coastal scenery of Castiglione della Pescaia and the Maremma natural reserve. With all its natural and artistic beauty, Siena is easily reachable by car or by public transportation and is a good location from where you can organize your own experiences. The Chianti Classical area, between Florence and Siena, is one of the most beautiful countryside panoramas in all of Italy and is very famous for its wine production.

Palio of Siena

he most infamous manifestation organized in Siena is the Palio horserace. It takes place every July 2nd and August 16th. The various neighborhoods of Siena, called 'Contradas', challenge each other in the passionate horserace that takes place in the Piazza del Campo. Siena is divided in 17 contrada: Aquila (the Eagle), Burco (Catepillar), Chiocciola (Snail), Civetta (Owl), Drago (Dragon), Giraffa (Girafe), Istrice (Porcupine), Leocorno (Unicorno), Lupa (she-wolf), Nicchio (Shell), Oca (Goose), Onda (Wave), Pantera (Panther), Selva (Forest), Tartuca (Tortouse), Torre (Tower), Valdimontone (Ram). Each Contrada has its own coat of arms, unique colors and is located in a well-defined area in the city. You can always understand in which contrada you are in by observing the various flags and coats of arms that are displayed around you and throughout the city. The Palio horserace has ancient beginnings. In fact, there are documents demonstrating horses in Siena and in the race since the 16th century. The Palio horserace is more than just a simple manifestation for the people of Siena. It has been part of their lives since birth. Every year the contrada members, 'contradaioli', participate in the Contrada lifestyle, activities and the organization of the Palio. The Sienese people are very intense and passionate about their Palio. If you have the opportunity to attend a race you'll notice how they are transported by their passion.

Santa Caterina from Siena

Saint Caterina (Siena, 25 March 1347 Roma, 29 April 1380) is one of the most particular and charismatic personages of all time. In order to induce peace and the unification, while leaving behind a profound message of love and faithfulness to God, Caterina was able to dialogue with the most political, civil and ecclesiastical authorities of her time. She was proclaimed Saint in 1461, and today is the co-Patron Saint of Roma, the Patron Saint of Italy and is Doctor to the Universal Church. Since October 1st, 1999, Santa Caterina of Siena is the Co-Patron Saint of Europe, by will of Pope Giovanni Paolo II.