The City of the famous Palio
Located to the south of Florence, Siena was an important stop along the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage route leading to Rome from northern Europe. The beautiful medieval look and atmosphere are still perfectly preserved, together with many of its old and ancient traditions.
Siena is an amazing city of art, offering many things to see and do and renown worldwide for the famous festival and horse race that takes place in Piazza del Campo, the Palio of Siena. The Palio is an exciting horse race that raises a lot of local passion, where the various "contrade" or districts of Siena (17 in all) challenge each other running around Piazza del Campo.
The historical city center is rather small and can all be conveniently visited with a pleasant walk through the many winding alleys between the beautiful medieval palaces and buildings, including the wonderful Palazzo Chigi Saracini.
Why is it called the Torre del Mangia?
When you finally enter the fantastic and scenic Piazza del Campo, you’ll remain impressed by the beauty of this particular shell-shaped square all surrounded by beautiful ancient buildings, in particular by the Palazzo Comunale, home to the Civic Museum, and the impressive Torre del Mangia, the tall and slender clock tower dominating the piazza.
The famous tower got its name - "tower of the Eater" - from the dissipated habits of its first guardian, Giovanni di Balduccio.
Called the "Mangia guadagni", the whole town knew he spent all of his money on sensual pleasures and thus "ate his earnings". He must have been an impressive character for the name to have stuck since 1344!
The views from the top of the bell are wonderful! You’ll enjoy a 360° panorma over Siena and the surrounding Tuscan countryside. The whole province of Siena is utterly beautiful, probably the most beautiful province of Tuscany, including wonderful areas of rare beauty, such as the Chianti Senese, the Val d'Orcia and the Crete Senesi. We highly recommend choosing an accommodation in Siena to see the best of Tuscany!