We checked out of our hotel at Chianciano by 7-30am and travelled to Siena approximately 2 hour drive, arriving in the city by 9-45am, what a beautiful and ancient city and with architecture we have seen all over Italy, buildings with tree and four stories enclosing narrow streets but despite all that the place felt more spacious than the other places we visited. The City itself has within it’s symbol a She Wolf much like the one in Rome with whom Romulus & Remus took refuge, showing it’s Roman origins, this She Wolf as legend has it, gave refuge to Aschio & Senio who were fearing their uncle Romolo after they had founded the Elsa & Meres Rivers, of course this is also a myth and the first and certain information was that this place was military.
The heart of the town is the “PIAZZA Del CAMPO and PALAZZO PUBBLICO” it’s shape is unique to the world being built on the sides of three hills giving it the shape of a shell dominated on it’s lower side by “Torre Del Mangia and the Palazzo Pubblico” Mangia Tower, built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries now a governmental building and museum, the upper part is dominated by the “Fonte Gaia” Fountain by Jacopo Della Quercia, installed in 1419 and later in 1858 replaced by a copy, close up images of the sculpture work can be seen on page 166.
“The Palio” the whole piazza is taken up to stage this world famous horse race, when on the 2 July and 16 August a selection of horses are raced bareback around the Piazza. A commissioned banner is presented to the winner of each race and highly prized.
I have recently seen horrendous videos of injuries and death, all of which are preventable by the stopping of the Barbarism.
The realities of this famous Horse race are the loss of “HORSES LIVES” which are unnecessarily taken in the name of sport,
Sport which should be boycotted and stopped in the name of and for several years, the Palio has been the focus of numerous protests by animal-rights organisations,
To see more about the work being done to have this barbarism abolished and to sign the petition visit the link below.
This I know is in Italian but there are ways to translate if you are serious about this, On the right hand side of the petition form is an empty box type in your name and click on the box underneath it
A Street Scene on our way to the centre of SIENA