According to a first legend Siena was founded by the Galli Senoni population, whereas according to another one, it was founded by Senio, a Romolo's son. By historical written data Siena would be an ancient Etruscan settlement, called Sena, and when it was conquered by the Romans, at the emperor Augusto's time, took the name of Sena Iulia.
During the Middle Age Siena increased its power and wealth and in 1260 the fighting with Florence was inevitable: in the Montaperti battle (also celebrated by Dante Alighieri), Siena defeated the Florentine army and imposed its superiority. Some years later the turning point was the battle in Colle Val d'Elsa, where people from Siena was defeated by the Florentines and the town was governed by the government of the Nine. Siena was devastasted by the Black Death in 1348 and, from this moment, began the economic decline of the city, until it was finally defeated by Florence in 1555.
The historic centre of Siena was declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
Piazza del Campo is the main public space of Siena; here you can find the Palazzo pubblico, one of the most important public palace of the city in gothic style. The square is also famous all around the world both for its architectural masterpieces and the twice-yearly horse race (July 2nd and August 16th), the Palio, which is held around the edges of the square.
Among the most important monuments in Siena we point out here the Chiesa di San Domenico (Saint Domenico Church), the Chiesa dei Santi Pietro e Paolo (Saints Pietro and Paolo Church), the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Servi (Saint Maria dei Servi Church), the Cathedral, the Torre del Mangia (Tower of Mangia),the Palazzo Pubblico (Public Palace), the Palazzo Chigi-Saracini (Chigi-Saracino Palace), the Palazzo Piccolomini (Piccolomini Palace), the Palazzo del Magnifico (Palace of the Magnificent) and the Fortezza Medicea (Medici's Fortrees).