The Fortezza di Santa Barbara was built between 1561 and 1563 by Cosimo de' Medici, the Duke of Florence who also became the Duke of Sienna in 1557.
The Fortress Medicea is a grandiose brick quadrilateral, reinforced at the corners by four pentagonal bastions. An imposing and very effective military structure, it was designed by Baldassarre Lanci from Urbino and it asserted the Medicis' domination over the city. At the same time, it ended the independence of the Republic of Sienna. Cosimo's coat of arms, sculpted in travertine, was conspicuously placed on three of the bastions to reaffirm his authority.
Today the Fortress houses the Enoteca Italiana where, in extremely beautiful surroundings, you can taste a selection of fine wines from Italy as well as other countries.