In Siena, the gigantic houses enclosing the rest of the Piazza took up the tale and mingled with it their burden. "We are very old and a trifle weary, but we were built strong and piled high, and we shall last for many an age. The present is cold and heedless, but we keep ourselves in heart by brooding over our store of memories and traditions. We are haunted houses in every creaking timber and aching stone." (Henry James, Italian Hours)
This is a classical itinerary to discover the medieval Siena. The city reached its demographic and economic peak between the XIII and the first half of the XIV century. Most of its monuments and works of art witness this glorious past. Walking along the main street, the palaces and squares welcome you as they have welcomed for centuries the many pilgrims and merchants passing by.
The main square, Piazza del Campo, is the natural centre of the city. Its shell-shaped heart made of bricks is like a warm carpet of "burnt Siena" color. From here we continue walking to the top of the hill where the majestic Cathedral stands, unfolding its exceptional works of art, among which we find masterpieces of Michelangelo and Donatello.
Do you know that?
In 1309 the local Government decided to translate the Costituto (Statute and political rules) from Latin into vernacular, so that even the common citizens could understand it. This was something really unique in the Middle Ages.