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The Campo in Siena, Tuscany

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Il Campo is Tuscany’s loveliest square and the most beloved by its city.

The square sits on the spot of the ancient Roman Forum and has evolved into its present fan shape. It was paved with bricks as early as 1340 and is the center of activity of the city. It’s periphery hosts the very popular palio twice a year.

In earlier times, this was a market square and the site of sporting events.

It has nine sections representing the Council of the Nine, rulers of the city during its construction.

The Fonte Gaia

Everyone visiting Siena cannot help but notice the fountains scattered over the different contrades. These fountains that are fed by underground aqueducts are a testament to Siena’s engineering achievements.

The Campo in Siena, Tuscany

In 1409, the Sienese commissioned Jacopo della Quercia to execute the sculptures for the Fonte Gaia. He created a broad rectangle of marble with reliefs of Adam and Eve and allegorical virtues. This was finished in 1419 but due to poor materials these were badly damaged by the passage of time. The remains of this original fountain can be seen up on the loggia of the Palazzo Pubblico. The present Fonte Gaia is an 1858 copy by Tito Sarrocchi. The original marble panels are now now being slowly restored at the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala.

Other attractions around this lovely piazza is the Palazzo Piccolomini with its library featuring the famous frescoes of Pinturicchio, the Palazzo Pubblico with its soaring tower and museums, and Palazzo Chigi-Saracini.