Siena: The Charm-Filled City of Tuscany
Siena is one of the most charming cities in Italy, located in the heart of Tuscany. It is famous for its beautiful architecture, delicious cuisine, and rich history. Siena is a popular tourist destination, but there are still many hidden gems to discover in the city. In this article, we will reveal five things you may not know about Siena.
Discovering Hidden Gems of Siena
Hidden Tunnels of Siena
Siena has a maze of hidden tunnels and secret passages that date back to the 13th century. These tunnels were originally built as a means of escape during times of war or invasion. Today, visitors can explore a few of these tunnels, including the fascinating underground passage that connects Palazzo Pubblico to the Duomo. This tunnel was used by soldiers during the Middle Ages to transport goods and weapons.
Siena is divided into 17 Contradas, which are districts that compete against each other during the famous Palio horse race. Each Contrada has its own museum that showcases its unique history and traditions. These museums are hidden gems that offer a glimpse into local life and customs. The museums are open to the public and are a great way to learn more about the history of Siena.
The Oldest Bank in the World
Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the oldest bank in the world, founded in 1472. The bank is still in operation today and has a fascinating history. In the 16th century, the bank financed the war against the Turks, and in the 19th century it played a key role in the unification of Italy. Visitors can take a tour of the bank and learn about its history and operations.
Siena is a city full of surprises and hidden gems. From the secret tunnels to the Contrada museums and the oldest bank in the world, there is always something new to discover. If you are planning a trip to Tuscany, be sure to include Siena on your itinerary. You won’t be disappointed!