Located in the heart of Tuscany, just 70 km south of Florence, Siena is
Italy´s best preserved medieval city with a population of about 56,672
people. Once a wealthy, warlike independent state during the Middle Ages,
Siena experienced a few hundred years of poverty after its final defeat by
Florence. Since then, Siena has maintained its lovely medieval buildings
and Gothic architecture, and today’s new constructions adapt to this
character and beauty.
Siena is built on three small hills within the city walls, divided into
three areas, called "Terzi".
These terzi are subdivided into 17 contrade. Loyalty to one's contrada is an
important part of Siena´s culture and history. The competition between each
contrada takes centre stage in Siena's world-famous horserace, Il Palio. An
unbroken medieval tradition since the 11th century that takes place annually on
2 July and 16 August when the unique shell shaped Piazza del Campo is converted
into a racetrack.
Siena is a major tourist attraction and home to one of the oldest Universities
in Europe, which adds for a vibrant student atmosphere and a bustling daily
life. Siena offers many cultural events, concerts, cinema, theatre and a wide
range of sporting activities. In the summer, there is the Siena Jazz Festival,
and the classical concert by the Accademia Musicale Chigiana. Settimana
Musicale Senese features various concerts around the city.
The Senese countryside also boasts a lovely landscape of natural
is the Chianti landscape between Florence and Siena, hills woven with vineyards
and Olive estates, and beautiful towns like San Gimignano and Monteriggioni.
South of Siena, the Arbia valley leads to the hill-top town of Montalcino, home
to the famous Brunello wine. The area La Crete Senese features harsh rock
formations, soft rounded hills, and a unique landscape grain-field below a
Siena wonderfully blends the natural beauty of Tuscany with the historic elegance of its medieval influence.
|Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Centre: is located three minutes' walk from Piazza del Campo in the historical center of Siena, next to Piazza San Domenico and Piazza Gramsci. It is a small building with a familiar and friendly atmosphere. It has a large sunny terrace were students can meet and relax when not in class. There is also free internet access available.|