Siena is famous all over the world for its shell-shaped square, Piazza del Campo, where, one of the most spectacular horse race, the Palio, is run every July 2 and August 16. It is an ancient town of Etruscan origin and after a Roman military settlement. Siena was very powerful during the Medieval age, when it had the actual architectonic look and it become a real jewel due to the artistic works made by local painters and sculptors of huge importance for the international culture heritage, as Duccio di Boninsegna, Simone Martini and Giovanni Dupré. Siena was also an important centre along the Via Francigena, which passing throw Rome, lead the pilgrims in the Holy Land. The ancient Hospital Santa Maria della Scala was a reference point for pilgrims and travellers. In the ancient infirmary the frescos painted by Domenico di Bartolo, Priamo della Quercia and by Vecchietta, shows the hospital day-life having care of the pilgrims and of the poor sick persons.
Now Siena is an important town of art, seat of a University and of a music school, the Accademia Chigiana, where famous masters give specialization courses to students coming from the world over.
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