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Tuesday 28 May 2024
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Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani

Piazza del Campo

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Built over an area that was once an open field, hence its name ‘campo’, Piazza del Campo is one of the world’s finest examples of secular architecture and is the precise meeting point of the three hills on which Siena is built. The earliest documented mention of the area dates back to 1169, when the field is listed as having been acquired by the community of Siena as an area to be used for fairs, markets and public celebrations during the rule of the Governo dei Ventiquattro (1236-1270). But the history of the piazza begins in earnest with the construction of the Palazzo Comunale (or Palazzo Pubblico) at the time when the city was ruled by the Governo dei Nove (1287-1355). One of the most stable governments in Italy at the time, the Governo dei Nove began considering a ‘neutral’ seat for the government of Siena and designs were drawn up to create a suitable layout around the new government buildings.

The semi-circular area occupied by Piazza del Campo covers a difficult and irregular terrain, making this masterpiece of harmony and elegance all the more remarkable an achievement. The buildings that surround the square have all been built according to specifications laid down as early as 1297, which stipulated certain strict limitations of height and adornment. The church of Saint Peter and Paul, which faced onto the square, was in fact demolished because it did not comply with these rules.
The paving of the square was begun in 1327 and completed in 1349 and is in unique ‘knife’-shaped bricks. The shell-like division of the brick paving into nine sections outlined in white stone dates from the time of the Governo dei Nove in the 14th century and represents the city’s nine governors, bringing the eye of the viewer naturally towards the Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia.

Just like in the Middle Ages, Piazza del Campo is the centre of Siena. All the town’s main streets lead into the square, which stands on the boundary between the Terzo di Città and the Terzo di San Martino quarters. Through the centuries this square has witnessed all of the city’s major historical events and has been the backdrop to a host of public events and games, from the Giochi dell’Elmora to the Pugna or the Bufale race. Today it is perhaps best known for the Palio, held each year on July 2nd and August 16th – a precipitous horse race that is preceded by a colourful pageant. The city’s 17 contrade, or competing factions in the race, each border on the square, which is utterly transformed during the Palio into a seething, passionately cheering crowd.

At other times of year, the Piazza del Campo comes alive during the Carnival celebrations in February and the arts festival organised by the town council in the final week of August.


  General information
Town map 
Siena in the Renaissance 
Siena in the Middle Ages 
Siena in Antiquity 

  Transport in town
Map of Hotels in Siena 
Town Map Siena 

  Transport out of town
Train services 

  Where to Stay
Farm Holidays and Country Houses  
Residence, Apartments 
Bed & Breakfasts 
Historical Residences 

Reservation Services Siena 
Last Minute Siena 

  Where to eat and drink
Disco Dancing 
Pubs & Wine Bar 

Siena University 
University for Foreigners 

  Art and monuments
Palazzo Piccolomini and Palazzo delle Papesse 
Palazzo Chigi-Saracini 
Palazzo d’Elci degli Alessi 
Loggia della Mercanzia 
Palazzo Sansedoni 
Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari 
Fonte Gaia fountain 
Carthusian Monastery of Pontignano  
Forte di Santa Barbara 

  Art and religion
Church of Sant’Agostino 
The Duomo – The Cathedral of the Assunta 
Church of the Osservanza  
The Oratory of San Bernardino 
Church of San Francesco 
Short Biography of St Catherine of Siena  
St Catherine Sanctuary 
Church of S. Niccolò al Carmine 

  Museums and galleries
The Museo Civico 
Bologna-Buonsignori museum 
Accademia dei Fisiocritici 
I Musei Senesi 

  Art and tourist attractions
Cappella di Piazza 
The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia 
Piazza del Campo 
The Montagnola Senese and the Fortified Village of Sovicille 
The Castles of Belcaro and Quattro Torri 


  The Palio of Siena
The Origins 
The July and August Palio 
The Contrade 
The Days of the Palio 
The Drappellone 
The Eve of the Palio 
The Corteo Storico Procession 
The Race 
The Patron Saint and Oratory of Each Contrada 
Weekly Appointments in each Contrada from April onwards 

Via di Città (formerly Via Galgaria), Siena’s Most Elegant Street 
Croce del Travaglio Place 
From Piazza del Campo to the Duomo Along Via di Città 
The Curves of Piazza del Campo 
Costarella dei Barbieri street 
Borgo d’Ovile 
The Terzo of Camollia – main streets 
Casato di Sopra e Casato di Sotto 
Terzo di San Martino district  
The Terzo di Città District - Via Stalloreggi, Via San Quirico 
The Terzo di Città District – The Pinacoteca Nazionale 

  What to see & do
Wedding in Siena 
Golf courses in Siena and Tuscany 
Wedding in Tuscany - Siena area 
San Casciano dei Bagni 
Chianciano Terme 
Bagni San Filippo 
Bagno Vignoni 
Rapolano Terme - Baths of San Giovanni and Baths of the Antica Querciolaia 
The Countryside around Siena and its Thermal Water Springs 

  Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata - nature tourism the year round 
SkiPass Monte Amiata 
WebCam sul Monte Amiata 
Meteo Monte Amiata 

  Specials - Out of town
Gift Ideas for traveling 
The Val d’Orcia and Its Main Towns 
Pienza - the old town centre 
Montepulciano - the old town centre 
San Quirico d’Orcia - the old town centre 
Montalcino and the Land of Brunello 
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the Crete 
The Crete Senesi 
Castellina in Chianti and the Via Chiantigiana Towards Siena 
Siena and Southern Chianti - from the Castle of Montalto to the Castle of Brolio and on to the Castle of Meleto 
The Chianti Hills - Monte Calvo, Monte Luco and Monte San Michele 
Cortona and the Valdichiana 
San Gimignano - The old town centre and its major sights 
The Val d’Elsa - Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa 
Along the Old Via Francigena 

  Typical products
Typical Tuscan flavours 
Oleum Evo online selling 
Sapori Tipici Italiani buy online now 
il Prosciutto Cotto