A Central Province Of Italy, in Tuscany, bordering on Florence, Arez-zo, Perugia, Rome, Grosseto, and Pisa; area, 1,465 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 206,446. It is watered by the Ombrone, Orcia, and other rivers. The N. E. portion is very mountainous. There are several lakes. A portion of the soil is fertile, producing wheat, olive oil, and wine; a larger portion comprises forests, prairies, and pasture grounds; much of it is uncultivated. Cattle raising is a chief occupation. It comprises the districts of Siena and Montepulciano.
A City, capital of the province, on two hills in a dreary plain, 31 m. S. by E. of Florence; pop. in 1872, 22,-965. The streets are narrow, and many of them too steep for vehicles. The cathedral, built in the 13th century, is a fine specimen of Italian Gothic, and there are several other churches which are rich in works of art. The university, which was flourishing in the middle ages, has a library of 50,000 volumes and 5,000 manuscripts. Siena is an archbishop's see, and has numerous academies of literature, science, and the fine arts. The hospital of Santa Maria della Scala is one of the oldest in Europe. The piazza del Campo, celebrated in Dante's Purgatoric, contains the loggia di San Paolo, the seat of a commercial tribunal in the middle ages. - Siena is a very ancient place, as the remains of Etruscan walls still visible testify. It was a bishop's see in the 6th century. In the middle ages it was a powerful republic, and rivalled Florence, with which it was often at war. In the struggle between the popes and emperors it sided with the Ghibelline party, and its soldiers defeated the Guelphs at Monte Aperto or Montaperti in 1260. The council of Pavia, transferred to Siena, lasted from June 22, 1423, to Feb. 26, 1424. A long period of civil war ended in its capture by the troops of Charles V. in 1555, and it was united with Tuscany in 1557.