WHERE WE ARE



 

SIENA'S LANDS

The Chianti hills and the magic of the Crete Senesi, punctuated by the dark green of the cypresses, by the unique profile in which they arise, such as ancient fortified villages; vineyards and olive trees climbing upon the sunny slopes by which, from overlying heights, they watch on cottages, farmsteads and manors; wooded pads; ancient landscapes "ordered" and "combed" by the geometry of twisted vines alternating with rows of olive trees, sown wheat and spelled, austere medieval abbeys and monasteries, a countryside which has been designed and modeled, over the centuries, by human history, in a unique union between nature and civilization; views ranging, magnificent on a clear day, from Monte Amiata to Siena’s skyline, from Crete Senesi to Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana, solitary trees on the top of rough and wild hills, animated by an almost supernatural, poetic and metaphysical breath; wide, silent, solar and mysterious, landscapes, ethereal but yet practical, rooted in present times but evoking " Undefined Distances"; places and villages - San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino - made of stone and history, from where the vestiges of the past transude and where time seems suspended; dazed valleys made surreal by enveloping mist.

And then Siena, where many visitors come to really identify with. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site for its historical center artistic value, the city is surrounded by medieval walls on which trough eight open doors it is possible to reach, through a network of charming alleys, the shell-shaped central square, Piazza del Campo, the heart of the entire city (and scenery of the famous Palio - the rite and not the show - which is annually celebrated on July 2th and August 16th), dominated by the Torre del Mangia, opposite to the Town Hall, symbol of past greatness, mystically completed by the nearby Duomo, which is, with its white marble, a box of artistic treasures.












































 



SIENA, TUSCANY, ITALY

"And here it is, Siena – as written by the Portuguese poet-writer Jose Saramago - the city where my heart is really pleased. Land of friendly people, a place where everyone has drunk the milk of human kindness [...]. The three hills on which Siena stands make it a city where it is impossible to find similar streets, for they are all opposite allowing any geometry. And that wonderful color of Siena, the color of burnished body from the sun, which is also the color of the bread crust, this wonderful color goes from the stones, to the streets and to the roofs, it softens the light of the sun and it erases anxieties and fears from our faces. Nothing can be more beautiful than this city. "

 

Thanks to their landscaping conformation, their architectural vestments, their spatial and cultural contextuality, their history and their legends, Tuscany - among the most known and appreciated Italian regions in the world - and especially the city of Siena, have been a source of inspiration for a large number of literary authors (as for instance, Hermann Hesse, John Ruskin, Henry James, Aleksandr Blok, André Suares) who, along with a multitude of other artists, musicians, intellectuals and distinguished travelers have crossed Italy - milestone of the Grand Tour of Europe undertaken in the course of nearly three centuries, from 600 to 800 (Goethe and Stendhal) – resting their gaze and translating narrative prose poems or poetic flow of thoughts and perceptions. A tradition that, in the twentieth century, through the modern Art of Film-making, many directors have ideally wanted to continue, and decided to make their films in Tuscany’s and Siena’s locations, fascinated, intrigued, attracted, by their landscapes, captivated by their atmospheres, by their colors, by their "light".

 

From Siena it is possible to make a “cinematic” journey to discover the places and landscapes that were the scenery (and “main characters” sometimes) in great films of international importance: the Renaissance Pienza in The English Patient by Anthony Minghella, the "Dantesque" Bagno Vignoni in Nostalghia by Andrei Tarkovsky, the gentle Val d'Orcia landscape in The Gladiator by Ridley Scott, the green hills and valleys nestle between laced rows of cypress trees and vines in Much Ado About Nothing by Kenneth Branagh and Stealing Beauty by Bernardo Bertolucci, the enchanting Montepulciano in Micheal Hoffman’s version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream. Or the seventeenth century sumptuous villa and the verdant nature in which Sean Penn tries to seduce Kristin Scott Thomas in Up at the Villa by Philip Haas, or, again, the Romanesque, isolated and gutted San Galgano Abbey, which has a green field as a floor and the sky as a roof, framing the provocative and lustful body of Brigitte Bardot in Le repos du warrior by Roger Vadim. To finally return to the celebrated Piazza del Campo in Siena granting the romantic Amanda Seyfried in Letters to Juliet by Gary Winick, and the hero Daniel Craig/James Bond in his amazing adventures narrated in Quantum of Solace by Marc Forster.

Seductive places shown in their uniqueness and disorienting magic by cinema lens, real places sometimes made to interact with those of the imagination, in which, however, you can venture on a tour of great charm and strong emotions.

 




HOW TO REACH US


It is possible to reach Siena by train, bus or car. We would like to suggest the following links.

 

Arriving in Italy by plane: the main references are the intercontinental airports of Rome and Milan, then the domestic and international airports of Florence and Pisa (the closest to Siena), and then those of Bologna and Perugia.

 

From Rome we suggest to take the train (Trenitalia or Italo BEWARE that they are two different companies and the ticket is different!) to Florence and from there you can take the bus (Rapid) to Siena. Alternatively you can take the SENA bus from Rome, departing from Tiburtina Bus Station, directed to Siena via Highway (about 3 hours).

From Milan we suggest to take the train (Trenitalia or Italo BEWARE that they are two different companies and the ticket is different!) to Florence and from there you can take the bus (Rapid) to Siena. Alternatively you can take the SENA bus form Milan Cadorna Bus Station, directed to Siena via Highway (about 4.30 hours).

From the airports of Pisa and Bologna it is possible to take the bus to Siena (check rides and hours!).

 

From Florence you can also take the train to Siena, but it takes more time (at least an hour and a half away) and, depending on the time, you need to change trains at Empoli, that is the reason why why we recommend the bus (Rapid Siena) which takes an hour and 15 minutes.

© 2013 - Officina Cultura Siena

                锡耶纳文化工作室

email: ocsiena@gmail.com   skype: ocsiena

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