Intro to Siena
Siena is located almost in the very center of Tuscany, and is often visited as a day trip from Florence or Pisa. In contrast to Florence, Siena has maintained much of its medieval character to the present day. The two cities have a rivalry dating back to the Middle Ages.
Though Siena's importance as a center of culture and trade has declined since that time, it remains a popular tourist destination for its unique architecture and art. The Palio horse races, which began in 1656, take place each year on July 2 and August 16 in the Piazza del Campo.