Surrounded by olive groves and by the Chianti vineyards, Siena is one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany. Built on the top of three hills, the town is crossed by wide avenues and narrow alleyways, leading to the heart of Siena, the square called 'Piazza del Campo
', and to all its other historic buildings, such as the Cathedral and 'Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala', once a hospital and now a museum and conference center. Famous for its Palio
, a traditional horserace taking place every year on July 2nd and August 16th, Siena also boasts one of the oldest universities in Europe. Besides the colorful daily life that enlivens its streets and piazzas, Siena offers a large selection of cultural events, concerts, cinemas, theatres, as well as sporting activities. Very few areas around the world can boast an environment as beautiful as that surrounding the town of Siena. To the north, visitors can enjoy the rich and stunning landscape of the Chianti hills, with vineyards, olive groves, and ancient villages, such as San Gimignano and Monteriggioni, enclosed by strong walls and offering wonderful views of the surroundings. To the south of Siena, the valley of the river Arbia leads to the hill town of Montalcino, where the renowned Brunello wine is produced. Moreover, the area called 'Le Crete' offers its visitors a unique landscape, characterized by harsh and fascinating rock formations. Traveling west, you get closer to the sea, to the coastal towns, such as Castiglione della Pescaia, and to the Maremma nature reserve, which certainly deserves a visit. Boasting amazing natural and artistic resources, Siena can be easily reached both by car and by public transportation and it is an ideal base for an unforgettable Tuscan experience. The Chianti area, between Florence and Siena, is one of the most beautiful countryside districts in Italy and it is famous for the production of wines.