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Siena belongs among the oldest cities that were according to a legend founded by Senius, son of Romus, who was one of the founders of Roma. From there originates the town’s emblem with a shewolf suckling the famous twin brothers. The most significant era of this town took place in the high Middle Ages and Renaissance, when the Republic of Siena was the biggest rival of the Tuscany city – Florence. In the 16th century, when Italy was devastated by the army of the Spanish King, the Medici joined him and collaboratively conquered Siena after an 18 month long siege. In view of the fact that in that era the town was weakened due to a dangerous plague epidemic, it isn’t an historical example of fair play but Machiavellism. Nobody but this Florentine thinker would agree with the statement “look for money behind everything”. Of course,

it was money that the Spanish King owed to Medici banks, which led to Florence becoming the centre of Tuscany, whereas Siena was only a smaller town of local importance. But this is exactly what contemporary citizens of Siena can be grateful for. Because in the 16th century, there were almost no building projects in the city and Siena, as one of not many towns, wasn’t affected by bombing during WWII, and therefore it counts itself among the most well-preserved mediaeval towns in all Italy. The whole city is practically enclosed within the mediaeval walls, and Siena people are properly proud of their ancient origin. They manifest that twice a year by the historical race Palio, which originates in the Middle Ages as well. It’s a festival during which Siena’s streets are really lively. To come here at another time other than July 2 or August 16 is

similar nonsense like going to Rio when the carnival isn’t taking place. Representatives of particular city’s quarters accompanied by esquires who carry their flags and arms compete with each other in the race. The racers themselves are professionally trained jockeys who are paid huge amounts, and bribes and agreements among jockeys are no exceptions. In the end, the Palio itself takes place at the famous squared Plazza del Campo with the dominating city hall and arch through which the riders must pass. That the race is really on a knife edge proves the view of square’s corners, where the racers turn and the pavement on which the horses rush at terrible speed. After all, even for James Bond during an action chase in Quantum of Solace it was really demanding. Siena and Polio is just necessary to enjoy live.

podzim – autumn


Marriage Guide - wedding podzim 2013  

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