siena

The city is universally known for its huge historical, artistic, scenic heritage and for its substantial stylistic unity of medieval urban furniture, as well as for the famous Palio.

In 1995 its historic center was included by UNESCO in the World Heritage.

The city is home to the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, founded in 1472 and therefore the oldest bank in operation and the longest in the world.

Siena is located in central Tuscany in the middle of a vast hilly landscape, between the valleys of the Arbia rivers to the south, Merse to the southwest and Elsa to the north, between the Chianti hills to the north-east, the Montagnola to the west and the Crete Sienese to the south-east.

The emblem of Siena is called “balzana”. It is a shield divided into two horizontal portions: the upper one is silver, the lower one black. According to the legend, it would symbolize the black and white smoke sprang from the augury pyre that the legendary founders of the city, Senio and Ascanio, sons of Remus, would light up to thank the gods after the foundation of the city of Siena. Another legend reports that the balzana derives from the colors of the horses, one white and one black, which the two brothers used in their escape from the uncle Romulus who wanted to kill them and with whom they came to Siena.

Because of their presumed fiery nature, which, it is said, borders madness, even the Sienese are often called “balzani”.