I cannot say enough about Siena.
Being such a history buff, there is something about walled cities that just excites me beyond measure! Siena, located in the Italian region of Tuscany, was settled sometime between 900-400 BC by a tribe known as the Saina. Over the next two thousand years, Siena developed into a bustling red-brick community with defensive walls surrounding the city center. Today, it is most famously known for its 17 "contrade" (pronounced con-tra-da), meaning "small districts," inside the walls. Each contrade has a specific symbol or animal, such as the giraffe, lion, wave, caterpillar, and tower. Twice per year, these contrade elect jockeys to represent their district in the Palio di Siena, a horse race around the city's main square. Over 100,000 people (a number twice the size of the local population) flock to see these races, and it definitely something that is now on my bucket list! The winning contrade receives bragging rights and gets to decorate their district in celebration until the next Palio takes place.