SIENA Sightseeing -
Via Vallerozzi, the heart of the area of town controlled by the Contrada della Lupa, is the street that leads into the densely populated Ovile quarter, which begins at the 13th century Porta Ovile and the Oratorio di San Rocco, the oratory of the Contrada della Lupa. Originally this was an area inhabited mainly by shepherds and their flocks.
Down Via Vallerozzi to the left is the Fonte Nuova d’Ovile fountain where women would come to wash their linen. One of the finest fountains in Siena, the Fonte Nuova d’Ovile was designed by Camaino di Crescentino and Sozzo di Rustichino, and was built between 1296 and 1303 in the gothic style, with two large acute arches clearly inspired by the architecture of Cistertian monasteries. Intended to supply this area of town with running water, both for agricultural purposes and for the many craftsmen who had their workshops here, the Fonte Nuova d’Ovile is one of the twelve fountains and 350 cisterns in Siena, all of which were fed by a 25 kilometre long underground aqueduct known as Bottini, which carried water from a spring in the surrounding countryside.
At Porta Ovile turn right up Via del Comune, which runs through the area of town controlled by the Contrada del Bruco to the Basilica di San Francesco, built in 1475. To the right of the basilica is the former Convent of San Francesco that today houses several faculties of the University of Siena.
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