Piazza del Campo, heart and soul of Siena
The beating heart of the City of the Palio
Piazza del Campo, one of a kind. Heart and soul of Siena, it is an essential element of our city and its inhabitants. Known throughout the world for its characteristic shape and for being the place where the Palio runs, it is also a UNESCO heritage site.
The square, also commonly called "Il Campo", was once a green space where markets and fairs were organized, its name derives from this origin.
Heart of the city center, it was designed on the small main streets that led to the ancient city and was designed to be a neutral place, independent from ecclesiastical and noble power, where you can celebrate parties, rides and important political events.
For our tradition this square represents a fundamental element. Not only is it a meeting point to experience moments of daily conviviality, but it is also the place where every year we experience our emotions during the Palio. Here the horses' hooves resounded, each jockey had to deal with their opponents and each Sienese rejoiced or cried with rage for their own district. A single place with a thousand emotions.
You cannot think of understanding Siena without knowing this magnificent square which represents the typical pride of this city. This is why we at Nannini would like to tell you something about her. Our territory is something that inspires us to do better and better and we want to make it known together with our products.
So let's go see its main features.
A centennial history
The birth of the square project dates back to the end of 1200 with the Government of the Nine, which brought Siena to its maximum splendor from a cultural, artistic, urban and architectural point of view. The plan of the square is in the shape of a shell and inside there are nine sections reminiscent of the Nine Lords who ruled from 1287 to 1355. The pavement dates back to 1347 and is composed of bricks arranged like a "knife" on an irregular space that goes down.
Palazzo Pubblico then overlooks the square, also built between 1200 and 1300 to house the Nine Signori who ruled Siena. Gothic-style building, originally it only included stone arches. Later it was instead enlarged with the sides and upper floors in red bricks. Nine Guelph battlements were also added, one for each governor of the Republic. Inside the Palazzo Pubblico there is now the Civic Museum, which collects numerous Sienese artistic works.
On the left side of Palazzo Pubblico we find the famous Torre del Mangia, built starting from 1325 by Francesco and Muccio di Rinaldo and completed around 1348. The picturesque name of this tower seems to derive from a certain Giovanni di Balduccio in charge of striking the hours and nicknamed "Mangia" or "Mangiaguadagni" because it seems it was a scialaquone.
The top Torre del Mangia can be reached via its four hundred steps and offers an unparalleled panoramic view of Siena. From that height it is possible to admire the geometric shell shape of the square and understand its importance in the city center
Piazza del Campo and Fonte Gaia
In the upper part, right in the center of Piazza del Campo, on the opposite side of the Palazzo Pubblico we find Fonte Gaia. A source of magnificent beauty in white marble and surrounded by a wrought iron gate.
Built in 1346, it was adorned with the original engravings by Jacopo della Quercia from 1409, now preserved in the museum of the Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala. The present engravings currently date back to 1868 and are a reproduction sculpted by Tito Sarrocchi.
Tradition has it that this spring takes the name of Gaia in honor of the joy that the Sienese felt the first time the water gushed into the square.
In short, as you can see, Piazza del Campo is a complex work full of history. The heart and soul of Siena. Together with the Duomo and other artistic works of considerable importance, the city of the Palio tells its history and its tradition.
Piazza del Campo lives of the emotions of those who go to admire it. Every day there are curious eyes that observe it and fall in love with it. Daily tourists and city dwellers enjoy the beauty of this magical place, perhaps enjoying a good coffee or a glass of wine Chianti.
It is a place where people share their lives for even just a few minutes.
We at Nannini believe that Piazza del Campo, together with the Duomo, both the essence of Siena and together with our culinary tradition we want to accompany you on this journey to discover our beloved city.