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Top Rated Attractions in Siena

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Banchi di Sopra

This street in Siena is best known for being an ideal location for passeggiata, a slow evening stroll common among locals. Upscale stores and shops line the road and draw many tourists for relaxing evenings of window shopping. Things are centered around the large retail anchor, Upim. Keep an eye out also for some great pastries, like the panforte at Nannini. This street is located near the Piazza del Campo.

Cathedral of Siena

Duomo di Siena, Siena's Cathedral, as it is seen today, stands on a plot of land that has always been dedicated to religion. Archaeological research has shown that there was a shrine built here as early as the 3rd Century. The Church of Santa Maria was built on top of that and then the current Duomo, which began at the end of the 12th Century. It is based on a Latin cross design with three naves. The polychrome marble facade is quite extraordinary. The entrance to the Libreria Piccolomini can be found in the nave on the left. The area dedicated to religious functions is enclosed and must not be entered during Mass as a sign of respect. Photographs are not allowed inside and all mobile phones should be turned off whether services are being held or not.

Piazza del Campo

The Piazza del Campo is a wonder of medieval construction in the heart of Siena. With the piazza's unique fishtail design constructed in rust-colored brick and white stone, the square is a result of excellent city planning. The square was built at the point where the original three towns that made up the city of Siena met and every building built around the square had to meet city guidelines so there was a sense of harmony. The brick laid square is divided into nine sections that represent each of the city's 'governo dei nove' or ruling governors. From a height, the sections look like the folds of a cloak believed to represent Mother Mary's cloak, Siena's patron saint. Today, the square hosts the popular bi-annual Palio or horse race that draws in visitors by the thousands waiting to see the majestic spectacle of thundering hooves.

Palazzo Pubblico

Palazzo Pubblico i.e. town hall is one of Siena's finest medieval structures. It is home to the Civic Museum, which holds the "Majesty" by Simone Martini. The Sala della Pace (Room of Peace) is the location of the "Allegory of Government" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti which is the largest non-religious pictorial cycle from all of the Middle Ages. This cycle alone would merit a visit, even if there were nothing to see but thankfully there are more artworks to marvel here.

Museo Civico

Museo Civico is located inside the 13th-century Palazzo Pubblico to preserve and showcase the collection of paintings, frescoes and sculptures of the Sienese School. Sala dei Nove is a magnificent room that served as a chamber for meetings of the councilors of Governo dei Nove government. The walls of this room were adorned with cycle of frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti known as Allegory of Good and Bad Government. The striking piece of art known as Maestà made by Simone Martini between 1312 and 1315, is located inside the Sala del Mappamondo, and is considered as the first real masterpiece of the artist. Other rooms of the palace are also covered with frescoes that are much more contemporary in style such as the one inside the Sala di Vittorio Emanuele II that depicts the episodes from the Unification of Italy. A perfect place to observe the paintings on canvas and wood by artists not only from Italy but from across the world.

Teatro dei Rozzi

The "Accademia Rozzi" built it's own theater in 1807. Finally opened to the public with a grand celebration 10 years later, the theater was closed in 1945 due to damage sustained during World War II. After an extensive restoration, the theater reopened in May of 1998, and today can seat 499 guests and hosts a number of varied performances.

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