> Siena - a noble fairytale
a noble fairytale
a noble fairytale, a chivalrous poem, a miniature gothic city:
this is Siena. In the background of a medieval Tuscany, without
concrete or asphalt, just hot stone. Located in a sublime environment,
but lacking natural resources, far from the ocean and always
at odds with its eternal powerful rival- Florence.
The rivalry between Siena and Florence was so strong that throughout
history, it often lead to both military and non-military wars.
Florence, like "David", Florence like Lorenzo "the Magnificent":
measure, order and symmetry. Florence: a city in which the simplest
things are strong expressions of the rationality and intelligence
of the Renaissance. On the contrary, Siena seems to be representative
of feminism. Piazza del Campo, Maesta' di Duccio, ornaments
and gold are all expressions of grace and femininity.
In fact, the Renaissance never managed to take off in Siena
as it did in other cities. A hint of its influence is just barely
noticeable in a few buildings and paintings. Walking through
Siena brings on an emotional state and stupor and a great sense
of nostalgia. Could it be from the vision of it; like a siren
sitting sweetly on a golden hill in the middle of the open Tuscan
landscape? Or could it be from the antique odour of its streets,
winding and narrow, or from the sensual and mystical tone of
its gothic frescoes that adorn every building and church? Or
maybe it is because it is far away and its role as middleman
between the north and south of Italy is irretrievable.
All of this does not mean that Siena is a dead city. In fact,
the Sienese are jovial and proud. Its university is avant-garde
and its commercial and business dealings are on the international
level. Not to mention the important role that tourism plays
in Siena. The nostalgia derives from the distance that separates
us and our century from man and from the medieval culture that
built Siena from the ground up. Even though the city of Siena
is of Roman origin, its major development occurred in the 13th
and 15th centuries. It became one of the most important political
and military cities in Tuscany. In addition to this, it was
also a centre from which art diffused to all the courts of Italy
(the other was, naturally, Florence).
During these centuries Siena obtained the urban image that continues
to fascinate the world today. Buildings in stone or brick, tall
and towering that line narrow streets and alleys in a continuous
motion which finally open up into the piazzas filled with incredible
churches and buildings. Siena: where the sensitivity of medieval
man focused on every meticulous detail, for the sake of art.