Siena ( Italian pronunciation [ na ː sjɛ ] ) is the name of a city and a former city-state in the center of the Italian Tuscany. The city has 52 883 inhabitants ( 31 December 2012) and is known for the Palio di Siena, a horse race that is held at the central square, Piazza del Campo. In the race, which since the Middle Ages has a very great importance for Siena, meet twice a year, ten of the 17 districts ( contrada ) of the city against each other. Siena is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany and Italy. Even from time immemorial it is in rivalry with Florence, in political, economic and artistic terms. While Florence impressed as a prime example of a Renaissance city especially by the sheer mass and size of its buildings and works of art, Siena has received the medieval character of the Italian Gothic. The historic old town is since 1995 a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The University of Siena, founded in 1240, is one of the oldest universities in Italy, and is now attended by about 20,000 students. From Siena Saint Catherine of Siena comes.


Siena is about 50 km south of the regional capital Florence and about 185 km north- west of Rome. It lies in the climatic classification of Italian communities in the zone D, 1943 Gr / G. It is bordered to the north Chianti, southeast of the Crete Senesi, south-west of the Maremma and northwest to the Montagnola.

Among the most important rivers in the municipality of Tressa (13 km in the municipality ), the Bozzone (11 km), the Arbia (9 km) and Sorra include (9 km). None of the rivers crossing the city center, said Tressa is located on the city nearest river. The rivers Sorra and Tressa arise in the municipality of Siena, the Arbia and Bozzone sources north of Siena in the Chianti area.

The most populous districts ( Frazioni ) of Siena are Taverne d' Arbia (approx. 2350 inhabitants, 185 meters altitude), Isola d' Arbia (about 900 inhabitants, 176 m) and Sant'Andrea a Montecchio (about 900 inhabitants, 273 m ).

The neighboring municipalities are Asciano, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Monteriggioni, Monteroni d' Arbia and Sovicille.


The historic center is divided into three Terzi ( third), in which several Contrada (neighborhoods) combined (17 in total ) and all within the city walls of Siena. The contrada (mostly animals ) named after their crests and are enemies to the famous Palio horse race that takes place in August every year once in July and once. The contrada in Siena fulfill many purposes, they take care of the renovation of the district where maintain their old unemployed citizens and give temporary tasks. Due to the social activities of the contrada, where everyone knows everyone, Siena is among the cities of this size with the lowest crime rate.

  • Terzo di Città to count the contrada Aquila ( Eagle), Chiocciola ( snail), Onda (Wave ), Pantera (Panther), Selva ( Forest) and Tartuca ( turtle).
  • For Terzo di San Martino, the Civetta contrada include ( owl), Leocorno ( Unicorn ), Nicchio (shell ), Valdimontone (Aries) and Torre ( tower).
  • For Terzo di Camollia include the contrada Bruco (caterpillar ), Drago ( Dragon ), Giraffa ( Giraffe ), Istrice ( porcupine ), Lupa ( She-Wolf ) and Oca ( goose).


→ Main article: History of Siena

Siena is probably due to an Etruscan settlement and was under Roman rule a colony with the name Saena Iulia. Your actual importance was the city but in the Middle Ages. Like other Italian cities, it gradually became independent and was in the 12th century a Konsularregierung.

In the dispute between the Emperor and the papacy Siena - unlike Florence - on the Ghibelline side and thereby received various privileges. Essentially, but hid behind this conflict an economic rivalry between the two trading cities. In the battle of Montaperti 1260 the Florentines were defeated. However, the following years brought a decline of the Ghibellines with it. Inside, it always came back to political power struggles, but the economic prosperity of the city did not prevent.

1389 joined the Sienese an alliance with Gian Galeazzo Visconti, they brought for a few years, depending on Milan.

Pandolfo Petrucci in 1487 seized power and ruled despotically, even though he formally the forms of government not antastete. Unlike the similar manner the ruling Medici in Florence but he failed to found a dynasty, and after his death in 1512, the city soon under the protection of Charles V. The citizens rebelled against the growing tyranny of the Spaniards, but 1555 Siena was taken after a long siege, and two years later as a fief to Cosimo I de ' Medici, where, under which it became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.



→ Main article: Cathedral of Siena

The cathedral of black and white marble, now one of the greatest examples of Gothic architecture in Italy, grew out of a three-nave Romanesque basilica. Today, the building still presented as such, but with gothic increased and eingewölbtem Nave, complicated, multi-wing transept and a Gothic choir. Romance remained irregular hexagonal dome over the crossing, which is responsible for many of the irregularities of the building. Construction began in the early 13th century and lasted until the 14th century.

A final magnification was 1339 started but never completed due to lack of funds and problems with static; Today only north aisle and facade of the so-called " Duomo Nuovo " to see that hint at the grandeur of the unfinished plan. The church, which would continue to be used today as a cathedral transept, should in the dimensions of Old St. Peter's, excel at that time one of the largest churches in the world. For the building also includes the Baptistery of San Giovanni, which is set in the substructures of the Cathedral Choir.

Other Churches

Other churches:

  • Basilica dell'Osservanza, only one of the four basilicas, which is outside the city walls.
  • Basilica di San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi in the local third Terzo di San Martino
  • Basilica di San Domenico in the local third Terzo di Camollia
  • Basilica di San Francesco, Franciscan church in the local third Terzo di Camollia, was built around 1228-1255 and rebuilt in the 14th and 15th century in the Gothic style and expanded.
  • Oratorio di San Rocco, Kontradenkirche Contrada Lupa in the local third Terzo di Camollia
  • San Niccolò del Carmine, Carmelite Church in the local Terzo di Città third
  • San Martino church in the local third Terzo di San Martino
  • Santo Spirito, in the local church thirds Terzo di San Martino
  • Santuario di Santa Caterina, birthplace, oratorio and church in honor of St.. Catherine of Siena in the local third Terzo di Camollia

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

The Opera del Duomo contains beside the window of the Cathedral Choir also Duccio's famous Madonna which was painted 1308-1311 for the cathedral, as well as other works of art that come from the context of the cathedral. Through the museum, you can enter the façade of the " Duomo Nuovo ", which was never completed (see above).

Ospedale Santa Maria della Scala

→ Main article: Santa Maria della Scala (Siena)

Opposite the cathedral there is this founded shortly after 1000 Pilgrims Hospice, which has about four times the volume of construction of the cathedral. Upstairs are different halls and chapels of interest: next to the entrance you look in the Chapel of the Annunciation, built in the 15th century and decorated by a magnificent fresco in the apse in the 18th century. This is followed by the so-called Sagrestia which was painted by Vecchietta. The large hall in the center of the hospice ( Pellegrinaio ) is completely painted, most of the frescoes by Domenico di Bartolo, but also Vecchietta and Priamo della Quercia resulted from individual scenes. Of great interest are the two lower storeys, which have cave-like character. They have been partly furnished in various periods, are now home also many works of art, including a large collection of antique urns and an altarpiece by Taddeo di Bartolo.

Palazzo Pubblico ( Town Hall )

→ Main article: Palazzo Pubblico (Siena)

The Palazzo Pubblico ( town hall ) is a palace, whose construction began in 1297 as the seat of the Republican government, the Podesta and the Council of Nine.

The Palace is centrally located on Siena's main square, Piazza del Campo; The square was created in the 14th century on the site of an ancient theater; 1347 he received his characteristic red brick paving, which is segmented by bright strips of travertine. Here the Palio di Siena is held, an annual local horse racing.

In the palace itself there are many famous frescoes such as the one that Guidoriccio because Fogliano in the Hall of Maps ( Sala del Mappamondo ) shows. The Fresco probably comes from Simone Martini. The wall of the room also shows remnants of drawing a world map by Pietro Lorenzetti. One of the most famous works in the palace is the representation of the good and the bad government in the Hall of the Nine ( Sala della Pace ) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

The 102 meter high tower of the palace ( Torre del Mangia ) was built 1325-1344, his tip was designed by Lippo Memmi. He is the public and features from its top a very good panoramic view of the city and its surroundings.

Accademia Musicale Chigiana

Notable Music and Arts Academy from the first quarter of the 20th century.

→ Main article Accademia Musicale Chigiana

Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena

The 1932 inaugurated art gallery contains works from the 13th to the 16th century important Senese artists.

→ Main article Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena

The bank, with its headquarters in the Palazzo Salimbeni Siena, founded in 1472 is the oldest bank in the world.

→ Main article Monte dei Paschi di Siena

Palazzo Tolomei

The Palazzo Tolomei in the street Banchi di Sopra was built around 1205 and is the oldest city palace of Siena. He was later increased and rebuilt. The Cassa de Risparmio di Firenze has their headquarters here today


The local football club AC Siena played from 2003 to 2010 and again between 2011 and 2013 in Serie A, the top division in the Italian football. After descending the end of the 2012/13 season, the club 's league games since then carries out in the B series. In basketball club Mens Sana Basket Siena has for some years belonged in the highest Italian Basketball League and was able to win the championship in 2004 and 2007 to 2013.


The following partnerships exist:


Siena benefits from several main roads. Among these was here the SS2 Via Cassia, which leads from Rome to Florence. In addition, it is located on the E78 Grosseto - Fano, which leads through the SS 223 di Paganico west to Grosseto and on the SS73 eastward, according to Fano and Perugia and the A1 (Italy ) to Rome and Naples. Currently, the four-lane extension of the E78 is running. To the north is connected to the four-lane RA3 (Italy ), which leads to Florence and the A1 (Italy ) towards Bologna. West of the city runs the Strada Statale 674 Tange Ovest di Siena, which allows the heavy and through traffic to bypass the city.

Around twelve kilometers southwest of Siena in the town of Sovicille ( district Ampugnano ) is the regional airport Siena Ampugnano. The planned expansion of the airport is controversial.

From the long-distance transport of Trenitalia Siena is suspended. On the railway lines to Empoli, Grosseto and Chiusi operate only regional trains.

The inner-city public transport is handled by the city buses of the local society TRAIN, which also operates interurban lines in the surrounding area. Currently in the city of Siena network operate 15 bus routes.

Sons and daughters of the town

→ Main article: List of sons and daughters of the city of Siena