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|The Piazza del Campo is
the center square of Siena. It is a formation of the conjunction of the
three hills on which the city was formed. The site was built in the 13th
century and is considered to be one the greatest medieval squares in Europe.
It is in this square that the famous Palio is held bi-annually.
After undergoing Feudal rule
and Episcopal rule, the area broke up into a number of small autonomous
regions in 1115. In 1167 the commune of Siena was declared independent
and by 1179 there was a written constitution available for its governance.
Much like Venice, Siena is
a place of mystery and romance. The mystery associated with Siena stems
from medieval times: during the battle of Montaperti, it is believed that
a white cloud descended and provided cover to the Seines, aiding them to
crush the enemy.
The Duomo di Milano or more
commonly known as the Duomo is a famous gothic cathedral. The striking
white marble is a sight to see. The main feature of the cathedral is the
Madonnina’s spire which is placed at a height of 108.5 meters and was designed
The construction of the
cathedral began well back in 1386 and was completed in1965 by which time
renovation work was also taking place along with the construction work.
|There is an international
event that is held annually which is called the Palio. This is an event
held on the second of July and the Sixteenth of August every year and is
facing more controversies in recent years with the ill treatment meted
out to the horses and injuries that the riders suffer from. The horse race
is conducted throughout the city over a set track and has become a major
tourist attraction for tourists from all over the world.
The race is conducted between
the different contradas of Siena; these are made up of the neighborhoods
of the city of Siena. In the ancient times there were seventeen contradas,
each depicted by a design of the contrada.
This is the color and the
arms of the contrada. Although there are seventeen contradas, only ten
horses are allowed to participate in the race. In this year ten contradas
participate, the following race sees the other seven contradas taking part
by default. Three other horses are selected randomly.
The first horse race in the
region began with the Grand Duke Tuscany setting bull fighting as an out
lawful activity. The first Palio took place in the year 1650 and was held
only on the 2nd of July.
This day was chosen as it
was the day of the feast of the Visitation. This day was also marked as
the day of a local festival in the honor of Madonna of Provenzano.
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