What a gorgeous medieval hill town Siena is! You know you’re somewhere special when a place features a daredevil horse race around the main piazza, a delectable fruitcake called panforte and the oldest bank in continuous existence in Europe. The Duomo cathedral is boldly decorated with green and white marble stripes. St. Catherine received the stigmata in Siena. Medieval neighborhoods called Contrade vie for dominance in the horse race, in lavish banquets for thousands, with colorful costumes and banners. An hour from Florence, Siena boasts its own Renaissance art and architecture, amidst car-free picturesque streets. Indeed, Siena is a gem.