The Tuscan city of Siena was once a powerful city-state of the divided Italy, prior to the 20th Century. Evidence of that power can be seen during the Palio, a horse-race which occurs on Siena’s main square, Piazza del Campo. The race is a fierce competition between rival cities for bragging rights and reflects the antagonism which existed in this region of the country. During the Palio, Siena is packed with tourists and residents of the competing cities. At other times, the city is simply charming.
Spend most of your time in the vicinity of the Piazza del Campo where most of the activity seems to focus.
Be sure, however, to check out Siena’s beautiful Duomo (cathedral), with its striped marble facade, gorgeous mosaics, and cavernous interior.
The most fun is wandering the narrow, medieval streets, especially in the early evening for the daily Paseo, when couples walk hand in hand through the city center.
Siena’s City Hall, Palazzo Pubblico, features a tall tower which dominates the skyline of the Old Town.