History about Siena
According to the legend, Siena was founded by the sons of Remus, Senius, and Aschius. They had fled Rome after their father died, stealing the famous statue Capitoline Wolf. Furthermore, they rode black and white horses, giving Siena’s coat of arms its colors.
A long rivalry with Florence forced the city to form an alliance with the French king after Siena was ruled by the Council of Nine, who gave a lot of prosperity to Siena. Then, in 1569, Siena was ruled by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the city started to rely on tourism which attractively kept growing ever since.
One of the main events in Siena is the Palio, a horse race that takes place twice a year, the 2nd of July to honor the Madonna of Provenzano and the 16th of August to honor the Virgin Mary’s Assumption. The race is happening in the Piazza del Campo and ten of the seventeen districts take part in each race. Il Palio goes on for over four days. The first day is for the assignments of the horses to each district. Following, the second day allows the district to choose their jockey. And it’s only on the third day that the big race is running and on the fourth day everybody is celebrating the race and the winner.
Every district performs a different ceremony for its horse and joins the big parade in historical costume!
Siena has a lot to offer for those who love to enjoy a good meal. For those who want to get to know a real Siena Meal, let’s start with the Siena pici, homemade spaghetti with flour, water, and oil. If you want something sweet, we advise you to test the panforte, a traditional chewy Italian dessert made with flour, sugar, candied with orange and citrus peel, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla. If you want to try something else, and if you love almonds, go ahead and try some cantucci or ricciarelli.
Those biscuits go perfectly with a glass of Vin Santo, a traditional Italian dessert wine.