Siena + San Gimignano
Siena is only 60 km from Florence with mediaeval architecture and towers that still mark out time.
In this city the vicissitudes of fearless knights can be relived: you seem to catch a glimpse of them in the characteristic alleyways that give Siena its proud and elegant aspect.
The shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, where the historical Palio is held, involving all of the cities districts, is one of the most important Italian Mediaeval stages. Its nine grey stone sectors are a melody of volumes and spaces, harmonised in the fifteenth century by the Fonte Gaia: a rectangular fountain basin made by Jacopo della Quercia.
The Palazzo Pubblico, seat of the town hall, articulated in rooms frescoed by Tuscan artists houses the civic museum where it is possible among other things to admire the wonderful "sala del mappamondo" and the famous Maestà by Simone Martini or the just as famous Guidoriccio Da Fogliano, by Martini.
The Duomo, however, is an architectonic document completed in the last quarter of the thirteenth century by Giovanni di Cecco.
The "Storie di Maria" carried out by Duccio di Buoninsegna in1288 are housed in its glass windows.
They are the most important Italian example of this type of work, enhanced by the sculptures by Bernini, and by the Tomb of Cardinal Petroni. Finally, the Torre del Mangia, an architectonic wonder built by the Perugian brothers Muccio and Francesco da Rinaldo that epitomises the Middle Ages is represented in all of its greatness and elegance by Siena; a city of ancient traditions.