Santa Maria della Scala (also referred to as the Hospital, Ospedale, and Spedale) is located in Siena, Italy. Now a museum, it was once an important civic hospital dedicated to caring for abandoned children, the poor, the sick, and pilgrims. Revenues were earned partially from bequests and donations from the citizens of Siena, particularly the wealthy.The head of the hospital was the rector who managed the lay brothers responsible for its operation. Santa Maria della Scala was one of Europe's first hospitals and is one of the oldest hospitals still surviving in the world.It played a major cultural role and is considered one of Siena's 3 main artistic hubs.
The masterpiece of Sienese Gothic architecture The most beautiful observation point of Siena. A breathtaking view. A climb inside one of the most important testimonies of Sienese history.
The Palio di Siena is a horse race that is held twice each year, on 2 July and 16 August, in Siena, Italy. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. The Palio held on 2 July is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, a Marian devotion particular to Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia. The Palio held on 16 August is named Palio dell'Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary. Sometimes, in case of exceptional events or local or national anniversaries deemed relevant and pertinent ones, the city community may decide for an extraordinary Palio, run between May and September. The last one was in year 2000, to celebrate the entering of the city in the new century. The next will be 20th October 2018, in commemoration of the Great War. A pageant, the Corteo Storico, precedes the race, which attracts visitors and spectators from around the world. The race itself, in which the jockeys ride bareback, circles the Piazza del Campo, on which a thick layer of dirt has been laid. The race is run for three laps of the piazza and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds. It is common for a few of the jockeys to be thrown off their horses while making the treacherous turns in the piazza, and indeed, it is not unusual to see unmounted horses finishing the race without their jockeys.
The Torre del Mangia is a tower in Siena. Built in 1338-1348, it is located in the Piazza del Campo, Siena's premier square, adjacent to the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall). When built it was one of the tallest secular towers in medieval Italy. At 102 m, it is second tallest after Cremona's Torrazzo (112 m (367 ft)) the Asinelli tower in Bologna at 97 m being third.
The Piccolomini Library is a monumental setting of the cathedral of Siena. Located along the left aisle, before the transept, it was built in 1492 by the Archbishop of Siena, cardinal Francesco Piccolomini Todeschini (later Pope Pius III) to guard the rich library heritage collected by his uncle Pope Pius II. Between 1502 and 1507 it was completely frescoed by Pinturicchio and aids, among which were the Bolognese Amico Aspertini and the young Raffaello Sanzio.
Piazza del Campo is the principal public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe's greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The Palazzo Pubblico and its Torre del Mangia, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza. At the northwest edge is the Fonte Gaia. The twice-a-year horse-race, Palio di Siena, is held around the edges of the piazza. The piazza is also the finish of the annual road cycling race Strade Bianche.