Siena is a city many people have visited, but even more dreams to visit. And it’s no wonder Siena is the gem of Tuscany and Italy.
Siena is the hometown of one of Italy’s two patron saints, Catherine of Siena. Caterina Benincasa, which is her original name, was born on March 25, 1347 and you can visit her birthplace to this day, of course, turned into a museum with the name Santuario di Santa Caterina.
Siena is, of course, listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and the city has a number of sights. The center of ancient Siena is characterized by the huge square of Piazza del Campo, where the traditional horse race (Palio) with roots dating back to the Middle Ages takes place twice a year to this day.
Also the scenery around Siena is magical and invites you to explore. Then add to Tuscany’s food traditions and knowledge related to wine and other beverages and you will understand that this is not at all a bad city to spend a long weekend in.
The itinerary has long been a love for Siena and we have no trouble recommending the city for short or long visits. Good holiday!
Get to know Siena
Siena is situated in the Tuscan hills and is said to have originated from the Etruscan tribe Saina. Like so many other cities in this part of Italy, Siena was originally Etruscan.
- Abbreviation: SI
- Country: Italy
The legend of Siena
However, the legend is more imaginative and says that Siena was formed by Senius and Aschius. These were the sons of Remus and the nephews of Romulus. The latter, by the way, was the origin of the city name Rome. Legend has it that after Romulus killed Senius and Aschius their father, they escaped from Rome and all they got was a statue of Lupa capitolina, the wolf that dieted Remus and Romulus.
From Rome they rode on a white and a black horse, hence the term Balzana. Black and white are Siena’s colors. And the wolf statue is the symbol of Siena to this day.
Siena in Roman times
A third possible name originates from Roman times where in the time of Emperor August there must have been a town here named Saena Julia. This has been documented in writings from as early as 70 AD. And Siena can naturally come from this settlement. Others claim it comes from the Roman family name Saenii, or the Latin word for old; senex or in another form “seneo”.
A historical look at Siena
At the end of the 1000s, the Republic of Siena arose. This was a republic that survived more than 400 years in a turbulent time. The Republic of Siena had many good years and before the plague took over the city in 1348, there lived as many as 50,000 people. In other words, not unlike the number of people now living in Siena.
The Republic of Siena ceased in 1555 when it surrendered to Spain. However, the Spanish king owed a lot of money to the Medici family in Florence and swapped Siena to cover his debt. Siena was therefore under the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until the creation of Italy in the 19th century.
Today, of course, the tourist industry is important for Siena city, but the region is primarily an agricultural area. Nearly 1,000 companies take care of vast lands and grow everything from fruits and vegetables, produce meat or run vineyards. You should definitely take the opportunity when in Siena to visit a winery nearby. Read more about this under car hire in Siena.
Siena is located on three hillsides linked by three main streets that form a Y and where the “junction” was the valley that now forms the Piazza del Campo. As a tourist for a few days, you will probably only move outside the city walls if you want to visit the parks, watch a football match or get to and from the train station.
The city walls around Siena’s historic center constitute approx. 7 kilometers in extent. The historic center dates back to the Middle Ages. The rivalry with Florence and Pisa clearly influenced how the city was designed and the construction of the palaces. The palaces were built to showcase Siena’s success and the city wall guarded entrances, such as. Porta Camollia that covered the road from Florence, to prevent intruders.
List of Siena Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Siena is SI which stands for Siena. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Siena, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.
|MPS||Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena|
|SHU||Siena Heights University|
|SRI||Siena Research Institute|
|SFS||Sienar Fleet Systems|
|SAIKN||Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut vir Kommunikasienavorsing|