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Relais L' Incanto di Fiesole (Firenze)

Art Cities >> SIENA
With the inimitable fascination of its twisting narrow streets, the austere towers and palaces, Siena preserves an intact Medieval centre surrounded by imposing Cities walls. First of all the Cities offers an envying quality of life. Already in 1966 the local government forbid cars in the historical centre, the first Italian town to take such an important decision.
Discovering the Cities
Atmosphere of the past
The elegance of Siena
The Palio of Siena
Sienese pastries
The Cities is surrounded by a beautiful landscape, three hills covered by wine-yards and olive trees, and farms, villages, castles and parish churches plotted in the sweet Chianti region. Towards Florence, to the north, you find the region of Il Chianti Classico, to the south the valley Val d'Orcia and the hills called "Crete" due to their moon landscape, and to the west you have the Sienese Montagnola with its forests and Mediterranean vegetation. Siena has always been an important cultural centre. The prestigious University was founded 750 years ago, and international institutions such as the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, the Accademia dei Fisiocritici, the Accademia degli Intronati and the Università per Stranieri have their headquarter here. Not to mention the traditions, such as the Palio, known in the whole world but so deeply rooted in the past of the Cities that they have become a landmark of the identity of Siena.
Of Etruscan origin, the Romans established a military colony under August here and Siena's name comes from Senio, who according to the legend founded the Cities and brought the icon of the wolf feeding the twins, which is still today the symbol of Siena and Rome. After the Carolingian period, Siena was governed by the Bishops between the 10th and the 11th century. The Cities experienced a period of commercial wealth and its rivalry with Florence, especially with the Guelfa fraction grew. In 1235 Siena lost against Florence, but got its revenge at Montaperti in 1260, in the historical battle remembered by Dante Alegheri. Siena lost its most important military leaders and abandoned the Ghibelline fraction for a Guelph government called dei Nove (Council of Nine) which governed until 1355. During this period Siena reached its peak of decline, signed by a terrible famine followed by the plague which reduced the population. The banks went bankrupt, the wool factories closed as they could no longer compete with the Florentine textile industry and the town fractions were busy with internal fights. In 1355 a revolt against the Guelph fraction broke out, and Caterina da Siena and Pope Piccolomini promptly promised a spiritual and artistic renaissance of the Cities. Siena definitely fell to Florence in 1555, and the treaty of Caveau-Cambrésis four years later assigned the Cities to the Medici family. Siena paid such high taxes that only during the Lorena family the Cities experienced a economical recovery. Siena adhered to the Risorgimento (period between 1815 and 1870 and the movement to unify Italy, translator's note), and was among the first Tuscan Cities that was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy.

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