Half an hour's drive from 'Hotel Certaldo is Siena, a symbol of a Tuscany more intimate and private, where people still live with a strong pride in belonging.
The most well known event is in fact the Palio, a horse race that takes place twice a year in the Piazza del Campo (or "il Campo - the field" for the people of Siena), on July 2nd and August 16th.
Despite attracting large crowds and attention from around the world and although habitual live television RAI, the race has no external commercial sponsor, and the whole event follows the tradition established in the thirteenth century, in the regulation for clothes and ceremonies, all dating back to the glory years of the Republic of Siena.
The race is animated by the infinite passion of the 17 Contrade still present, that carry out social activities throughout the year, always aiming to keep alive the passion and attention to the races of the July 2nd and August 16th. Since several years the town has topped the charts of the Italian communes where people live better. Siena has an intact old town and nice, of great stylistic unity.
The Cathedral has inspired, among others, for the setting of Wagner's Parsifal, having had the interior of the church a very strong impression on the author during his stay in Siena.
The town, home to a University that has over 700 years of history, is easily accessible by car via the Autopalio (Firenze-Siena), or by bus or train.
Guided Tours of Siena
Ms Susanna Probst: Guided walking tours in Siena and days out in the province of Siena.