Siena is an Italian town of 54 132 inhabitants, the capital of the province of the same name in Tuscany. The city is universally known for its huge historical, artistic and landscape heritage and for its substantial stylistic unity of medieval urban furniture, as well as for the famous Palio. In 1995 its historic center was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Origins At the top of the hill overlooking the village of Torri in Sovicille, there is the prehistoric Neolithic settlement of Sienavecchia. The name of Sienavecchia seems to actually date back to the ancient multicentric group of the Etruscan Saenae . According to the legend, Romulus sent his captains Camellio and Montorio to win Ascanio (or Aschio) and Senio, supposed sons of Remo and founders of an inhabited area of the Saenae; Camellio, for his part, founded the nucleus of Camollia  and Montorio founded Castelmontorio. Instead, the nearby village of Brenna (Sovicille), according to tradition, owes its name to the well-known Brenno chief of the Senoni Gauls, who reached the region after being expelled from Rome at the beginning of the fourth century BC. The historical documents instead describe us. of Siena founded as a Roman colony, at the time of Emperor Augustus, known as Saena Iulia. Inside the historic center of Siena some sites from the Etruscan era have been found, which may suggest the foundation of the city by the Etruscans. According to authoritative studies, in fact, the name Siena may derive from the Etruscan noble family Saina / Seina, epigraphically attested in Montalcino, Chiusi and Perugia. The first known document of the Sienese community dates back to 70: Senator Manlio Patruito reported to Rome that he was beaten and ridiculed with a fake funeral during his official visit to Saena Iulia, a small military colony in Tuscia. The Roman Senate decided to punish the main culprits and to severely call the Sienese to a greater respect for Roman authority. Middle Ages From the early Middle Ages there are no documents that can illuminate the cases of civil life in Siena. There is some news relating to the establishment of the bishopric and diocese, especially for the issues that arose between the Bishop of Siena and that of Arezzo, due to the boundaries of the jurisdictional area of each: issues in which the Lombard king Liutprando intervened, pronouncing a sentence in favor of the Arezzo diocese. But the Sienese were not satisfied and therefore in the year 853, when Italy passed from Lombard to Frankish domination, they managed to obtain the annulment of the sentence issued by King Liutprand. It seems that at the time of the Lombards, Siena was governed by a representative of the king: Gastaldo who was later replaced by an imperial count after the coronation of Charlemagne. The first count of which concrete news is known was Winigi, son of Ranieri, in 867. After 900 the emperor Ludwig III reigned in Siena, whose reign did not last so long, since in 903 the chronicles tell of a return of the counts to power under the new government of King Berengar. The historic center of Siena with the Piazza del Campo Siena found itself in the 10th century at the center of important trade routes that led to Rome and, thanks to this, it became an important medieval city. In the twelfth century the city endowed itself with municipal consular regulations, began to expand its territory and formed the first alliances. This situation of both political and economic importance led Siena to fight for the northern dominions of Tuscany, against Florence. From the first half of the XII century onwards Siena prospered and became an important commercial center, keeping good relations with the Papal States; the Sienese bankers were a point of reference for the authorities of Rome, who turned to them for loans or financing. At the end of the twelfth century Siena, supporting the Ghibelline cause (although there was no lack of Sienese families on the Guelph side, in harmony with Florence), found itself again against Florence on the Guelph side: the victory over the Guelph Tuscans in the battle of Montaperti is famous. , from 1260, also mentioned by Dante Alighieri. But after a few years the Sienese had the worst in the battle of Colle Val d'Elsa, in 1269, which later led, in 1287, to the rise of the Government of the Nine, on the Guelph side. Under this new government, Siena reached its maximum splendor, both economically and culturally. After the plague of 1348, the slow decline of the Republic of Siena began, which however did not preclude the road to Sienese territorial expansion, which up to the day of the fall of the Republic included a third of Tuscany. The end of the Sienese Republic, perhaps the only Western state to implement a pure democracy in favor of the people, occurred on 21 April 1555, when the city, after a siege of over a year, had to surrender, exhausted by hunger, to the empire of Charles V, backed by the Medici, who subsequently ceded the territory of the Republic as a fief to the Medici, Lords of Florence, to repay them for the expenses incurred during the war. For the umpteenth time the Sienese citizens managed to stand up to an emperor, who only thanks to his immense resources was able to bend the fierce resistance of this small Republic and its citizens. Relationship with San Ginesio After the government of the Da Varano, starting from 1445 San Ginesio recognized its belonging to the papal dominion, but between 1450 there was some attempt to restore the previous regime. Three hundred ginesini suffered the sentence of exile. Given the behavior of the Ginesini, the Sienese ambassadors defended them, obtaining pardon  and permission to return to their homeland. The exiles were accompanied by the Sienese with a wooden crucifix as a sign of peace  and the new municipal statute was drawn up on the Sienese model.  Medici period After the fall of the Republic, a few Sienese led by the Florentine exile Piero Strozzi, not wanting to accept the fall of the Republic, took refuge in Montalcino, creating the Republic of Siena sheltered in Montalcino, maintaining the alliance with France, which he continued to exercise. its power over the southern part of the territory of the Republic, creating considerable problems for the imperial troops. It lived until May 31, 1559 when it was betrayed by the French allies, whom Siena had always supported, who, concluding the peace of Cateau-Cambrésis with the emperor Charles V, effectively ceded the Republic to the Medici. The Medici, apart from the brief parenthesis of Ferdinand I who tried to create an organized state, were not able to give a stable structure to the Grand Duchy, keeping almost unchanged the division between the so-called Old State, i.e. Florence, and the New State, i.e. Siena and the southern part up to Pitigliano, with different laws and taxes. With the death of Gian Gastone de 'Medici (1737), who had no children, the Medici dynasty ended and the Grand Duchy passed into the hands of the Habsburg-Lorraine who kept it until 1799. Contemporary era After the Napoleonic period and the Risorgimento uprisings, Siena was the first city in Tuscany, in 1859, to vote in favor of annexation to the Kingdom of Italy.