The Info List - Siena

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(Italian pronunciation: [ˈsjɛːna] ( listen); in English sometimes spelled Sienna; Latin: Sena Iulia) is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena. The historic centre of Siena
has been declared by UNESCO
a World Heritage Site.[2] It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008.[3] Siena
is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.


1 History 2 Geography

2.1 Climate

3 Main sights 4 Culture

4.1 Contrade 4.2 The Palio 4.3 Art

5 Economy

5.1 Agriculture 5.2 Industry and manufacturing 5.3 Service industry, financial and light commerce

6 Sports

6.1 Professional sports 6.2 Amateur sports

7 Transport

7.1 Road

8 Twin towns 9 Image gallery 10 References 11 Sources 12 External links


Capitoline Wolf
Capitoline Wolf
at Siena
Duomo. According to a legend Siena
was founded by Senius and Aschius, two sons of Remus. When they fled Rome, they took the statue of She-wolf to Siena, which became a symbol of the town.

See also: Republic of Siena
Republic of Siena
and Timeline of Siena Siena, like other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscans (c. 900–400 BC) when it was inhabited by a tribe called the Saina. The Etruscans were a tribe of advanced people who changed the face of central Italy
through their use of irrigation to reclaim previously unfarmable land, and their custom of building their settlements in well-defended hill forts. A Roman town called Saena Julia was founded at the site in the time of the Emperor Augustus. Some archaeologists assert that Siena
was controlled for a period by a Gaulish tribe called the Senones.[citation needed] According to local legend, Siena
was founded by Senius and Aschius, two sons of Remus
and thus nephews of Romulus, after whom Rome
was named. Supposedly after their father's murder by Romulus, they fled Rome, taking with them the statue of the she-wolf suckling the infants (Capitoline Wolf), thus appropriating that symbol for the town.[citation needed] Additionally they rode white and black horses, giving rise to the Balzana, or coat of arms of Siena
with a white band atop a dark band. Some claim the name Siena
derives from Senius. Other etymologies derive the name from the Etruscan family name Saina, the Roman family name Saenii, or the Latin
word senex "old" or its derived form seneo "to be old". Siena
did not prosper under Roman rule. It was not sited near any major roads and lacked opportunities for trade. Its insular status meant that Christianity did not penetrate until the 4th century AD, and it was not until the Lombards
invaded Siena
and the surrounding territory that it knew prosperity.[citation needed] After the Lombard occupation, the old Roman roads of Via Aurelia
Via Aurelia
and the Via Cassia passed through areas exposed to Byzantine raids, so the Lombards rerouted much of their trade between the Lombards' northern possessions and Rome
along a more secure road through Siena. Siena prospered as a trading post, and the constant streams of pilgrims passing to and from Rome
provided a valuable source of income in the centuries to come.[citation needed] The oldest aristocratic families in Siena
date their line to the Lombards' surrender in 774 to Charlemagne. At this point, the city was inundated with a swarm of Frankish overseers who married into the existing Sienese nobility and left a legacy that can be seen in the abbeys they founded throughout Sienese territory.[citation needed] Feudal
power waned however, and by the death of Countess Matilda in 1115 the border territory of the March of Tuscany
which had been under the control of her family, the Canossa, broke up into several autonomous regions. This ultimately resulted in the creation of the Republic of Siena. The Republic existed for over four hundred years, from the late 11th century until the year 1555. During the golden age of Siena
before the Black Death
Black Death
in 1348, the city was home to 50,000 people.[4] In the Italian War of 1551–59, the republic was defeated by the rival Duchy of Florence
Duchy of Florence
in alliance with the Spanish crown. After 18 months of resistance, Siena
surrendered to Spain
on 17 April 1555, marking the end of the republic. The new Spanish King Felipe II, owing huge sums to the Medici, ceded it (apart from a series of coastal fortress annexed to the State of Presidi) to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to which it belonged until the unification of Italy
in the 19th century. A Republican government of 700 Sienese families in Montalcino
resisted until 1559.[citation needed] Geography[edit] Siena
is located in the central part of Tuscany, in the middle of a vast hilly landscape between the Arbia river valley (south), the Merse valley (south-west), the Elsa valley (north), the Chianti
hills (north-east), the Montagnola Senese (west) and the Crete Senesi (south-east). The city lies at 322 m above sea level. Climate[edit] Siena
has a typical inland Mediterranean climate. Average rainfall is 750 mm (29.5 in), with the maximum in November and the minimum in July. July is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 22.2 °C (72.0 °F), and January the coldest.[5]

Climate data for University of Siena
University of Siena
(altitude: 348 m sl)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 8.0 (46.4) 9.1 (48.4) 11.9 (53.4) 16.0 (60.8) 20.4 (68.7) 24.6 (76.3) 27.9 (82.2) 27.4 (81.3) 23.4 (74.1) 18.0 (64.4) 12.5 (54.5) 9.0 (48.2) 17.4 (63.3)

Daily mean °C (°F) 5.0 (41) 5.7 (42.3) 8.1 (46.6) 11.7 (53.1) 15.5 (59.9) 19.4 (66.9) 22.2 (72) 22.0 (71.6) 18.7 (65.7) 14.0 (57.2) 9.5 (49.1) 6.3 (43.3) 13.2 (55.8)

Average low °C (°F) 2.0 (35.6) 2.3 (36.1) 4.2 (39.6) 7.3 (45.1) 10.5 (50.9) 14.1 (57.4) 16.6 (61.9) 16.6 (61.9) 14.1 (57.4) 10.0 (50) 6.6 (43.9) 3.5 (38.3) 9.0 (48.2)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 65 (2.56) 64 (2.52) 61 (2.4) 67 (2.64) 55 (2.17) 58 (2.28) 31 (1.22) 51 (2.01) 56 (2.2) 93 (3.66) 78 (3.07) 71 (2.8) 750 (29.53)

Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 8 11 8 10 6 7 4 4 5 8 8 8 87

Source: Archivio Climatico ENEA[5]

Main sights[edit]


Interior of the Siena

Façade of the Palazzo Pubblico
Palazzo Pubblico
(town hall) during the Palio days.

Piazza Salimbeni.

Streets of old Siena.

Basilica of San Domenico.

View from the Campanile del Mangia.

The Siena Cathedral
Siena Cathedral
(Duomo), begun in the 12th century, is a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Its main façade was completed in 1380. The original plan called for an ambitiously massive basilica, the largest then in the world, with, as was customary, an east-west nave. However, the scarcity of funds, in part due to war and plague, truncated the project, and the Sienese created a subdued version from the original plan's north-south transept. The east wall of the abandoned original folly of a nave still stands; through an internal staircase, visitors can climb for a grand view of the city. The Siena Cathedral
Siena Cathedral
Pulpit is an octagonal 13th-century masterpiece sculpted by Nicola Pisano
Nicola Pisano
with lion pedestals and biblical bas-relief panels. The inlaid marble mosaic floor of the cathedral, designed and labored on by many artists, is among the most elaborate in Italy. The Sacristy and Piccolomini library have well preserved Renaissance frescos by Ghirlandaio and Pinturicchio
respectively. Other sculptors active in the church and in the subterranean baptistry are Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Jacopo della Quercia
Jacopo della Quercia
and others. The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
contains Duccio's famous Maestà (1308–11) and various other works by Sienese masters. More Sienese paintings are to be found in the Pinacoteca, e.g. 13th-century works by Dietisalvi di Speme. The Piazza del Campo, the shell-shaped town square, unfurls before the Palazzo Pubblico
Palazzo Pubblico
with its tall Torre del Mangia. This is part of the site for the Palio horse race. The Palazzo Pubblico, itself a great work of architecture, houses yet another important art museum. Included within the museum is Ambrogio Lorenzetti's frescoes depicting the Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government and also some of the finest frescoes of Simone Martini
Simone Martini
and Pietro Lorenzetti. The Palazzo Salimbeni, located in a piazza of the same name, was the original headquarters and remains in possession of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena, one of the oldest banks in continuous existence in Europe. Housed in the notable Gothic Palazzo Chigi-Saracini
Palazzo Chigi-Saracini
on Via di Città is the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena's conservatory of music. Other churches in the city include:

Basilica dell'Osservanza Santa Maria dei Servi San Domenico San Francesco Santo Spirito San Martino Sanctuary of Santa Caterina, incorporating the old house of St. Catherine of Siena. It houses the miraculous Crucifix (late 12th century) from which the saint received her stigmata, and a 15th-century statue of St. Catherine.

The historic Siena synagogue
Siena synagogue
is also preserved and open to visitors. The city's gardens include the Orto Botanico dell'Università di Siena, a botanical garden maintained by the University of Siena. The Medicean Fortress houses the Enoteca
Italiana and the Siena
Jazz School, with courses and concerts throughout the year, and a festival during the International Siena
Jazz Masterclasses. In the neighbourhood are numerous patrician villas, some of which are attributed to Baldassarre Peruzzi:

Villa Chigi Castle of Belcaro Villa Celsa Villa Cetinale Villa Volte Alte

Culture[edit] Contrade[edit] Main article: Contrade di Siena Siena
retains a ward-centric culture from medieval times. Each ward (contrada) is represented by an animal or mascot, and has its own boundary and distinct identity. Ward rivalries are most rampant during the annual horse race (Palio) in the Piazza del Campo.[6] The Palio[edit] Main article: Palio di Siena The Palio di Siena
Palio di Siena
is a traditional medieval horse race run around the Piazza del Campo
Piazza del Campo
twice each year, on 2 July and 16 August. The event is attended by large crowds, and is widely televised. Seventeen Contrade (which are city neighbourhoods originally formed as battalions for the city's defence) vie for the trophy: a painted banner, or Palio bearing an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Art[edit]

Madonna and Child with saints polyptych by Duccio

Sassetta, Institution of the Eucharist (1430–32), Pinacoteca di Siena.

Over the centuries, Siena
has had a rich tradition of arts and artists. The list of artists from the Sienese School
Sienese School
include Duccio and his student Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti
Pietro Lorenzetti
and Martino di Bartolomeo. A number of well-known works of Renaissance
and High Renaissance art
Renaissance art
still remain in galleries or churches in Siena. The Church of San Domenico contains art by Guido da Siena, dating to the mid-13th century. Duccio's Maestà, which was commissioned by the City
of Siena
in 1308, was instrumental in leading Italian painting away from the hieratic representations of Byzantine art
Byzantine art
and directing it towards more direct presentations of reality. And his Madonna and Child with Saints
polyptych, painted between 1311 and 1318, remains at the city's Pinacoteca Nazionale. The Pinacoteca also includes several works by Domenico Beccafumi, as well as art by Lorenzo Lotto, Domenico di Bartolo
Domenico di Bartolo
and Fra Bartolomeo. Economy[edit] The main activities are tourism, services, agriculture, handicrafts and light industry. Agriculture[edit] Agriculture constitutes Siena's primary industry. As of 2009[update], Siena's agricultural workforce comprises 919 companies with a total area of 10.755 square kilometres (4.153 sq mi) for a UAA (usable agricultural area) of 6.954 square kilometres (2.685 sq mi) or about 1/30 of the total municipal area (data ISTAT for the 2000 Agriculture Census V). Industry and manufacturing[edit]

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The industrial sector of the Sienese economy is not very developed. However, the area has seen recent growth in important core manufacturing enterprises. The confectionery industry is one of the most important of the traditional sectors of the secondary industry, because of the many local specialties. Among the best known are Panforte, a precursor to modern fruitcake, Ricciarelli biscuits, made out of almond paste, and the well-known gingerbread, and the horses. Also renowned is Noto, a sweet made out of honey, almonds and pepper. The area known for making these delicacies ranges between Tuscany
and Umbria. Other seasonal specialties are the chestnut and the pan de 'Santi (or Pan co' Santi) traditionally prepared in the weeks preceding the Festival of Saints, the November 1. All are marketed both industrial and artisan bakeries in different cities. The area has also seen a growth in biotechnology. Centenary Institute Sieroterapico Achille Sclavo, is now Swiss-owned and operates under the company name, Novartis
Vaccines. Novartis
develops and produces vaccines and employs about a thousand people. Service industry, financial and light commerce[edit]

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In this area, the most important financial activities are those related to the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the oldest bank still in existence, headquartered in Siena, which has been operating continuously since 1472. There are also important appearances of the university and the hospital, which employ thousands of people and serves a catchment area much wider than the already large territory province. In the territory there is a dense network of micro-enterprises (less than 10,000) active in trade and tourism. In the last ten years[which?], Siena
has been completely wired with fibre optic cable. This distinction makes Siena
the first city in Italy
to complete Telecom's Socrates Project (Progetto Socrate). As a result, the town can claim that almost every house is wired for cable. The wiring, built by private companies in partnership with the city, helped to create a civic public station (Channel Civic Sienese) cable that transmits information and local news and gives access to Internet broadband. In 2007, however, the station was privatised, separating the TV from the Internet. The wiring is currently extending to major centres of the province through another company set up ad hoc (earth cable). Sports[edit] Siena
has enjoyed a long tradition in sports. Basketball
and football are perhaps the most popular in Siena, but other sports such as rugby and athletics are also practised. Professional sports[edit]

Stadio Artemio Franchi - Montepaschi Arena

Associazione Calcio Siena
(football) was founded in 1904 and fully established in 1908. It was first promoted to Italy's top league, Serie A, for the 2003–04 season and stayed in this serie for 9 seasons. After the club's bankruptcy in 2014, a new club named Società Sportiva Robur Siena
took its place and had to restart from Serie D. Currently it is in Lega Pro
Lega Pro
league. The club hosts its games at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The premier society of men's basketball in Siena
was called Mens Sana Basket (also referred to by its sponsored name of Montepaschi Siena). It is also the oldest sports society in Siena. Mens Sana Basket participated in the highest level of play in Italy, Lega Basket Serie A, and it has won the national championship eight times, with a streak of seven (2004 and 2007–13). The team host their home games at PalaEstra indoor arena. Likewise the football team, the club in 2014 went through financial issues and its place was taken by the new club Mens Sana 1871, currently in the Serie A2 league. The city co-hosted the EuroBasket 1979.

The Strade Bianche
Strade Bianche
cycling race starts and finishes in Siena

hosts the start and finish of the Strade Bianche, a professional cycling race famous for its historic white gravel roads, called strade bianche or sterrati in Italian.[7] More than 50 kilometres (31 miles) of the race is run over dirt roads, usually country lanes and farm tracks twisting through the hills and vineyards of the Chianti
region. The finish is on the Piazza del Campo, after a steep and narrow climb on the roughly-paved Via Santa Caterina leading into the center of the medieval city.[8] In 2015 the volleyball team Emma Villas, based in Chiusi
(a small town in the Siena
Province) was promoted in Serie A2 and decided to move to Siena, aiming at a wider audience, hosting its games at PalaEstra. Amateur sports[edit] Siena
is home to several amateur basketball teams: these include the Associazione Sportiva Costone Basket and Virtus Siena. There exist several female university sports teams organised under the CUS (Centro Universitario Sportivo). These include such sports as fencing, volleyball and rugby, and a basketball team composed exclusivelly by students of the University of Siena. Transport[edit] The nearest international airports to Siena
are Peretola Airport
Peretola Airport
in Florence
and Galileo Galilei International Airport
Galileo Galilei International Airport
in Pisa. There are two to three buses daily (Sena line) between Siena
and Bologna Airport as well. Siena
can be reached by train from both Pisa
and Florence, changing at Empoli. Siena railway station
Siena railway station
is located at the bottom of a long hill outside the city walls. A series of escalators connects the train station with the old city on top of hill. Buses leave from Piazza Gramsci, located within the city walls. Buses are available directly to and from Florence, a one-hour trip, as well as from Rome
(three hours), Milan
(four and a half hours), and from various other towns in Tuscany
and beyond. Road[edit] By road, Siena
is linked to Florence
by a "superstrada" (the Raccordo Autostradale RA03 – Siena-Firenze), a form of toll free autostrada. The superstrada to Florence
is indicated on some road signs with the letters SI-FI, referring to province abbreviations. A continuation of the same four lane road to the south east will facilitate the drive towards Perugia
and to Rome
by the A1 highway. Almost no automobile traffic is permitted within the city centre. Several large car parks are located immediately outside the city walls. The "La Fortezza" and "Il Campo" car parks are closest to the centre; free parking areas are further out (near Porta Romana). Commercial traffic is permitted within the city only during morning hours. Twin towns[edit] See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy Siena
is twinned with:

Avignon, France[9][10] Concord, North Carolina, U.S.A., since 2016 Weimar, Germany, since 1994 Wetzlar, Germany, since 1987

Image gallery[edit]

Siena, Campanile Palazzo Pubblico
Palazzo Pubblico
& Duomo

Siena, Campanile, Torre del Mangia
Torre del Mangia
(Palazzo Pubblico)

Siena, Duomo

The interior of the dome in the Siena

Interior of the dome at the duomo, Siena


^ Data from Istat ^ " Historic Centre of Siena
Historic Centre of Siena
World Heritage Centre". Whc.unesco.org. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2012.  ^ "Euromonitor Internationals Top City
Destinations Ranking > Euromonitor archive". Euromonitor.com. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2010.  ^ Smith, T.B.; Steinhoff, J.B. (2012). Art
as Politics in Late Medieval and Renaissance
Siena. Ashgate Publishing Company. p. 77. ISBN 9781409400660. Retrieved 14 September 2015.  ^ a b "Climate Data from the University of Siena's Meteorological Station (1961–1990) - Achivio Climatico ENEA". Retrieved 15 September 2015.  ^ Huppert, George (1998). After the Black Death: A Social History of Early Modern Europe (Second ed.). Indiana University Press. p. 36.  ^ " Siena
start for Strade Bianche
Strade Bianche
in 2016". Cycling News. Retrieved 6 February 2016.  ^ Brown, Gregor. "Preview: Strade Bianche
Strade Bianche
promises to be a strongman's race". Velo News. Retrieved 29 November 2015.  ^ "Jumelages et Relations Internationales - Avignon". Avignon.fr (in French). Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.  ^ "Atlas français de la coopération décentralisée et des autres actions extérieures". Ministère des affaires étrangères (in French). Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 

Sources[edit] See also: Bibliography of the history of Siena

A Medieval Italian Commune: Siena
under the Nine, 1287–1355 by Professor William M. Bowsky (1982) McIntyre, Anthony Osler. Medieval Tuscany
and Umbria
(1992) ISBN 0-670-83525-0 Nevola, Fabrizio (2007). Siena: Constructing the Renaissance
city (second ed.). Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12678-5. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 

External links[edit]

Find more aboutSienaat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Learning resources from Wikiversity

travel guide from Wikivoyage

v t e

Tourism in Siena




Cathedral Pulpit


San Domenico Osservanza San Francesco Santa Maria dei Servi


Battistero di San Giovanni Oratorio di Sant'Antonio Sant'Agostino San Martino San Pellegrino alla Sapienza San Pietro alla Magione San Pietro alle Scale San Raimondo San Sebastiano San Sebastiano in Vallepiatta Santo Spirito Santo Stefano alla Lizza


Fonte Gaia Fortezza Medicea

Palaces or Palazzi

Chigi-Saracini del Magnifico Pubblico Salimbeni


Pinacoteca Nazionale Santa Maria della Scala

Gardens or public squares

Orto Botanico Piazza del Campo

Events and traditions

Contrade of Siena Corteo Storico Palio di Siena

v t e

· Comuni of the Province of Siena

Abbadia San Salvatore Asciano Buonconvento Casole d'Elsa Castellina in Chianti Castelnuovo Berardenga Castiglione d'Orcia Cetona Chianciano Terme Chiusdino Chiusi Colle di Val d'Elsa Gaiole in Chianti Montalcino Montepulciano Monteriggioni Monteroni d'Arbia Monticiano Murlo Piancastagnaio Pienza Poggibonsi Radda in Chianti Radicofani Radicondoli Rapolano Terme San Casciano dei Bagni San Gimignano San Quirico d'Orcia Sarteano Siena Sinalunga Sovicille Torrita di Siena Trequanda

v t e

World Heritage Sites in Italy


Crespi d'Adda Genoa Mantua
and Sabbioneta Monte San Giorgio1 Porto Venere, Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, Cinque Terre

Corniglia Manarola Monterosso al Mare Riomaggiore Vernazza

Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

Castle of Moncalieri Castle of Racconigi Castle of Rivoli Castello del Valentino Royal Palace of Turin Palazzo Carignano Palazzo Madama, Turin Palace of Venaria Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi Villa della Regina

Rhaetian Railway
Rhaetian Railway
in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes1 Rock Drawings in Valcamonica Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe- Roero
and Monferrato


Aquileia The Dolomites Ferrara Modena Cathedral, Torre della Ghirlandina
Torre della Ghirlandina
and Piazza Grande, Modena Orto botanico di Padova Ravenna Venice Verona City
of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto


Assisi Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri
and Tarquinia Florence Hadrian's Villa Medici
villas Piazza del Duomo, Pisa Pienza Rome2 San Gimignano Siena Urbino Val d'Orcia Villa d'Este


Alberobello Amalfi Coast Castel del Monte, Apulia Cilento
and Vallo di Diano
Vallo di Diano
National Park, Paestum
and Velia, Certosa di Padula Herculaneum Oplontis
and Villa Poppaea Naples Palace of Caserta, Aqueduct of Vanvitelli
Aqueduct of Vanvitelli
and San Leucio
San Leucio
Complex Pompeii Sassi di Matera


Aeolian Islands Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale Archaeological Area of Agrigento Barumini nuraghes Mount Etna Syracuse and Necropolis of Pantalica Val di Noto

Caltagirone Catania Militello in Val di Catania Modica Noto Palazzolo Acreide Ragusa Scicli

Villa Romana del Casale


Longobards in Italy, Places of Power (568–774 A.D.)

Brescia Cividale del Friuli Castelseprio Spoleto Temple of Clitumnus
Temple of Clitumnus
located at Campello sul Clitunno Santa Sofia located at Benevento Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
located at Monte Sant'Angelo

Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps3 Primeval Beech Forests of Europe4 Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries5

Bergamo Palmanova Peschiera del Garda

1 Shared with Switzerland 2 Shared with the Holy See 3 Shared with Austria, France, Germany, Slovenia, and Switzerland 4 Shared with Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain
and Ukraine 5 Shared with Croatia
and Montenegro

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 239842