Thursday, March 20, 2014


Pubblico Palace with Tower of Mangia

Spent there less than 6 hours and wished to stay at least 3 months. The medieval city is loaded with history, but most delightful thing I would like to share with you today is its architectural features, the Museum of Torture and the Palio Festival.
During our independent exploration on August day in 2009, we rolled into Siena in search of sights. No itinerary, guidebooks or tours… we simply parked our car and decided to walk and follow the signs to the center of the city. Here are some beautiful architectural features on the way to the main square.
(All images and video © Copyright 2014 Dorota Quiroz)

Piazza Del Campo
This oval-shaped large open space surrounded by the wall of buildings on its edge is the center of the city. It is tilted towards the center where all "slices of pie" meet. It was a gathering place for all the districts. I wish I climbed the Tower of Mangia to take some shots from the top!

Close up of Pubblico Palace by Dorota Quiroz

Piazza Salimbeni

Piazza del Campo 

Piazza del Campo with Gaia Fountain

Piazza del Campo perfect for afternoon nap

Detail of Gaia Fountain at Piazza del Campo

Under the viewing stairs in Piazza del Campo
Gargoyles on Pubblico Palace 

One of the statues in Siena
(Romus and Romulus with She-Wolf)

Il Duomo of Siena

Close up of the facade of the Cathedral in Siena
Close up of Cathedral in Siena
Beautiful details of Cathedral in Siena
Detail from Siena Cathedral
Gate doors to the Cathedral in Siena
Detail of the upper left panel of main door to the Cathedral in Siena
Lion - Detail of Siena Cathedral
Main alter of Il Duomo in Siena
Close up of the main alter with the flags of Contrada
One of the chapels in Siena Cathedral with large manuscripts
The ceiling of Siena Cathedral
One of the wall in the Siena Cathedral covered with pledges and votive medallions 

During our lunch at one of the cafes off the main square we learned from our waiter about the Torture Museum (Museo della Tortura) … Hmmm, I tortured my husband by dragging him all over Italy, why not learn more about how else other people were tortured… I tell you, my friends, people are very creative when it comes to causing pain for a purpose of conversion, punishment or pure sadistic pleasure. You think water boarding is bad? You have no idea...Here are some visuals.

And my absolutely favorite torture gadget for school (below)...

Siena is famous for its race of horses. Once a year, from July through August in the Piazza del Campo there is a festival of Palio that celebrates different Contradas and ends with a horse race around the Piazza. Each horse represents a different district of the city called "Contrada" established long ago (as early as VI century) with its colors, banners and neighborhoods. Originally there were about 60 of them back now there are 17: Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf, Goose. Here are some of their banners:

The flags of Contrada at Pubblico Palace in Siena

Contradas in Siena
Here comes the horse!

Bringing in the race horse

Onda Contrada Horse

On our way back we experienced a great tradition. The horse was being brought to the city with its supporters of Contrada… Enjoy the video:

I would love to rent an apartment here for a few months, just to walk the streets and explore Tuscan landscape… soon my friends, soon….

Streets of Siena

(All images and video © Copyright 2014 Dorota Quiroz)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Start a conversation here!