In the Medieval City of Siena: Spotting the Contrade and More

Eagle. Siena, Italy.

Eagle. Siena, Italy.

A weekend in the medieval Tuscan city of Siena. A city well-known for the Palio horse race in the Piazza del Campo, brought to the big screen by the Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

We walked the narrow streets of the well-preserved historic center (another UNESCO World Heritage Site! :)), in search of signs of the 17 contrade (neighborhoods or wards) of Siena that fiercely contest the Palio.

Every contrada has its own symbol and flag, and it was exciting to head out in search of them. Some were obvious, some were not. Some we spotted, some we did not. And as we looked high and low, in big piazzas and around little corners, in sunny spots and dark alleys, our spirits were high and we learnt more about this unique city.

From the Contrada dell’Aquila to the Contrada della Selva, from the serene church of San Francesco to the Monte dei Paschi di Siena (the oldest surviving bank in the world!), the medieval city of Siena transported us to a different era.

Contrada della Pantera (Panther). Siena, Italy.

Contrada della Pantera (Panther). Siena, Italy.

Ready to take-off? Siena, Italy.

Ready to take-off? Siena, Italy.

Contrada dell'Aquila (Eagle). Siena, Italy.

Nobile Contrada dell’Aquila (Eagle). Siena, Italy.

Oink! Who goes there? Siena, Italy.

Oink! Who goes there? Siena, Italy.

Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Siena, Italy.

Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Siena, Italy.

Contrada del Bruco (Caterpillar). Siena, Italy.

Nobile Contrada del Bruco (Caterpillar). Siena, Italy.

Contrada della Giraffa (Giraffe). Siena, Italy

Contrada della Giraffa (Giraffe). Siena, Italy

Church of San Francesco. Siena, Italy.

Church of San Francesco. Siena, Italy.

Contrada della Selva (Forest). Siena, Italy.

Contrada della Selva (Forest). Siena, Italy.

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