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The heart of Siena: the “Terzo” of San Martin

The Terzo of Saint Martin was formed around the Via Francigena, the old road going towards Canterbury, passing through Italy and France, A very important milestone with a strong transit of merchants and pilgrims. Being Saint Martin the patron of pilgrims and wayfarers, the district was named by him, you can still visit the church dedicated that is the most important in the area.

Via dei Banchi and the Biccherne

To begin your visit in a light and amusing way, start from Via dei Banchi, one of the harts of Siena, full of shops, old artisans and churches. The Castellare Ugurgieri is the only fortified house remained in town, originated from an old roman Castrum. From this place folllow the street to reach Palazzo Piccolomini, one of the most important families of the Middle Age in Siena. This palace war the official residence of the family, now hosting the very interesting museum of the Biccherne, a sort of financial law court, able to trial all the business and legal questions.

Now continue on Via Pantaneto, on whose left stands the church of St. John the Baptist, oratory of the Contrada dell ‘Unicorno, and following Via Pispini, we reach the church of San Gaetano, oratory of the Noble Contrada of the Nicchio.

The Siena of the Contrade

Do not miss the Museum of Bologna-Buonsignori, which includes a rich collection of Etruscan pottery coming from Montepulciano. From here we head towards Porta Romana to find the Museum of Contrada di Valmontone: along this road you will reach Piazza Alessandro Manzoni, characterized by the steps of the beautiful Basilica dei Servi.

From Via dei Servi passing away from St. Jerome Pantaneto we return to the street, to turn immediately to the left to enter the alley of the goldsmiths, an untouched corner of the old Siena. Continuing towards the Piazza del Campo arrives at the church of St. Martin, one of the oldest in the city, in the direction of the way you come to the ward Porrione Salicotto, the heart of the district.

Taking the small Vicolo delle Scotte, you will arrive in front of the synagogue in 1776, and then descend via Salicotto, the main street of the old Jewish ghetto of Cosimo I de 'Medici, the name probably derives from the synthesis of "salted and cooked."

The red color of Siena

The banner of the Third St. Martin's is red and has, in the center, the depiction of the scene's most famous saint's life, the one in which he gives half of his cloak to a naked beggar met at the gates of Amiens in France. This color, together with the smells and the sounds of this particular area of Siena will leave you a very deep souvenir of your first visit and prepare to discover the rest.

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