My friend Nicole told me about her solo traveling in Italy. She often mention about Siena which is located in Tuscany, Italy. She said the whole city is a work of art and inspiring. I was curious to the city and wish to travel there someday. Back to my university life, I think I have ever attended History of Architecture class which explains about the medieval and renaissance period. As I remember the presentation slide is full of text and the story is quite complex. I learn a bit about architecture and urban design in Siena but the class seems so slow and I feel sleepy.
On 2013 I had a chance to visit Siena and I am completely surprise when I saw a sign written Siena. It’s no wonder that the city itself include in UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Well, Siena is composed of medieval architecture, alleyways, narrow street, cobblestone road and tons of historical sites. The space, building, artwork, history are all incredible. I think the feeling of being in Siena can’t be put into a word. 😀
There’s one famous statue near Palazzo Salimbeni (Oldest Bank in the world) and located in the centre of the plaza/piazza. It is a statue of Sallustio Bandini. It is said that Siena is best known for the Palio, a horse race conducted twice a year in the summer. Palio is a horse race festival which is held in the Campo, one of the most remarkable squares in Italy. This square is located in the centre and the whole city in Siena built around the Piazza del Campo.
Piazza del Campo is a public space in the city known as urban gathering spaces. The unique character of the piazza are shaped to be convex and the surrounding building walls curving in on themselves. This urban space allows everyone in the space to see everyone else.
Near this piazza there’re 2 famous place called Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall) and Torre del Mangia (tower). The building use brick and stone like many medieval architecture and influenced by Gothic architecture. I saw the scenery of Siena from the Torre del Mangio. The city is like a magic and beautifully designed.
I realize that one of the interesting thing in Siena is the clear blue sky and fresh air. The sky and the fresh air reflects the quality of the environment. Only few greenery in Siena but how come the city is far from pollution? I think it is because the urban design itself. The city is full of narrow street and alleyways which is too narrow to cars. It is said also that since 1966 Siena has been a “car free” city.
In 1979 book, Siena : A City and It’s History say that there is something unique about Siena and that much of that uniqueness finds expression in its art, architecture, town-planning, and urban life.
I agree with the quote and I think Siena has strong sense of place, landscape preservation, sustainable community and spirit of place.
What do you think about Siena and please share a story about Siena.
And last, it’s a photo of me in Siena. 😀