Siena is one of the world top tourist destinations. Located within the heart of Tuscany it offers millions of tourists a unique opportunity to escape from the rigours of 21st century day to day life and enjoy some of Italy’s and Europe’s oldest and most sought after traditions. Small, poor and generally neglected over centuries of Roman and Florentine rule, Siena ironically became one of Europe’s best preserved towns due to its lack of funds - the city couldn't afford to replace its archaic Gothic structures with more modern buildings. Due to the competitive nature of the Italian tourist trade, city officials found this advantage to be key to the city’s charm. To this day it remains mandatory for any new buildings in the city to stick with the medieval architectural theme.
Siena in fact offers the perfect opportunity to get away from crazy city centers full of cars and their fumes. Cars are strictly prohibited within the walls of town, and the roads and alleys snake through the city like discarded olive branches.
The heart of the city is Piazza del Campo, where the Palio horse races are held every July 2nd and August 16th. It is a traditional citywide festival that brings an outpouring of feverish territorial pride that you are unlikely to witness elsewhere. The horse races last under two minutes, but the buildup for the ceremonies take weeks of preparation- weeks full of banquets and parades, songs of glories past and present, blessings for the horses in the name of Saint Catherine of Siena and the united spirit of each of the 17 different republics within the city walls – all competing for the ultimate prize – the ‘Palium’
Vineyards encapsulate most of the space between Florence and Siena, where the famed Chianti wine was first born. To the south of Siena is the Brunello region, home to another of the country's most acclaimed wines. Due to the benefits of their unique geography, many of Siena’s restaurants and it’s unique ‘’Enoteca Italiana’’ are fiercely proud of their wine selections.
The magnificent SPA (hotsprings) located in the countryside around the city can warm your soul and relax your body after a day of work.
Nowadays Siena is an International city, thanks to the 2 Universities (University of Siena, University for Foregners of Siena), Siena Jazz School, Accademia Chigiana of Classical Music and an intensive night student life throughout the year.
----> VIDEO - WELCOME TO SIENA by ESN Siena GES