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Siena Piazza del Campo

Piazza del Campo of Siena

The square occupies the site of the ancient Roman Forum and at all times in its history has been the focal point of civic life in Siena. Highly original in shape, like the concave half of a shell, the square is surrounded by the Palazzo Pubblico which creates a wondrous backdrop. This was built between 1298 and 1342, partly in stone and partly in brickwork, and consists of a central body with two higher wings which were added in 1681.

 

In one corner stands the extremely slender tower, Torre del Mangia, 102 metres tall and dating from 1349, with its shaft in brickwork and crown in marble corbels. All around the square stand old palaces, some crenellated and turreted, the most outstanding the three floored Palazzo Sansedoni from the fourteenth century.

In the middle of the square is the magnificent Gaia Fountain, a reproduction of the fountain attributed to Jacopo della Quercia and now kept in the Palazzo Pubblico.

The square has hosted the famous Siena horse race, the Palio, since 1656, famous for the extraordinary participation it excites in the townspeople and sixteenth century costumes of the procession. It is held twice a year, on July 2 and August 6.

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