Val di Merse vuol dire boschi e acque: una natura lussureggiante incastonata fra le Crete Senesi e la Maremma. La tipica macchia di ginestre ed erica si alterna ai lecci, ai cerri e ai castagni, creando luoghi ombrosi e solari allo stesso tempo.
The lower section of Sienna Cathedral Façade was the work of Giovanni Pisano. It is distinguished by three large, elaborate, polychrome arches that herald the monumental doors.
At the end of Via del Capitano, you come to Piazza del Duomo with its fairytale view of the cathedral. The variously colored marbles, the beautiful examples of sculpture, the gold of the mosaics, the soaring cusps and pinnacles, the arch of the dome, the lofty two-tone belltower, all seems straight from a fairly tale.
Le Crete e i loro colori particolari: i grigi, i gialli chiari, gli ocra polverosi, che sfumano dalle insenature dei "calanchi" alle colline a cupola conosciute col nome di "biancane". Un paesaggio "lunare", che lascia perplessi e ammirati di fronte agli sconvolgimenti naturali che un milione di anni fa hanno permesso a queste terre di diventare così uniche.
The interior of the cathedral is stunning. The banded two-tone arches with their full round curves follow one another in harmonious lines and they provide a perfect backdrop to the works of rare beauty which decorate the building.
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.
Sienna is not only famous throughout the world for the horse-race called the Palio and the magnificent works of art it so proudly possesses, but also for its sweets and confectionery: the candied, spicy panforte and pampepato; the almond-flavoured ricciarelli; the honeyed-fruit biscuits called copate and the honeyed-nut cavallucci.
Still celebrated today, these culinary traditions beautifully compliment Sienna's past, which is on show everywhere in the city center.
This building is the Town Hall of Sienna and provides a symbol of the city's freedom. Its construction in the Gothic style began in 1288 and continued until 1310.
Additions were made during the 14th century, but the most important occurred in the 17th century when the side wings were raised to meet the central section. Fulfilling a need to blend in with the ambience and to achieve coherence in style, these extensions were built in what could be termed early neo-Gothic.
Siena, located on the hilltop dividing the basin of the Arbia from the one of the Elsa, is particular also for the framework in which the city is inserted, immerged in a suggestive countryside with changing colours, where the intense green of the woods and the vineyards moves to the brown ochre of the hills covered by cypresses.
The Chianti and its red rubbish wine, with its flavour of "mammaola" and its harmonious taste: without any doubt, it is an inseparable association, but the Chianti is also more.