Luxury Tuscany villa rental between Florence and Siena
The city of Siena
The medieval hill city of Siena lies about an hour’s drive south of Florence, its historic rival city-state dating back to the middle ages. Because the town was built entirely out of bricks and terracotta tiles, it takes on a unique character and color - the rich red-brown which gave rise to the crayon color name Burnt Sienna.
Any visit to Siena must include the magnificent Piazza del Campo, a distinctive fan-shaped square in the heart of the city, dominated by the soaring tower of the Palazzo Pubblico. It is in this piazza that the world-renowned Palio horserace is run each July 2 and August 16 by bareback jockeys representing the 16 historical districts or contrade of the city. Ultimately the horse that crosses the finish line first - with or without jockey - brings pride and glory to the winning contrada for the prize of the “palio” or Madonna-decked banner along with a grand ceremony in Siena’s marble-faced Duomo. This impressive cathedral should not be missed, decorated with opulent marble inlaid-pavements along with important Medieval and Renaissance painting and sculpture.
Before leaving town be sure to try one of the best-loved local delicacies, the “ricciarelli” almond cookies, packed with rich almond paste and sugar - arguably one of the best dolci to be found in Tuscany.