• LOCATION 7 | From the Golden Age to the Glory of Siena’s Present Traditions

    Banca Monte dei Paschi

    Carry on and you'll get to a big square on the right, dominated by three majestic buildings. Please stop there.

    This is the headquarters of the oldest operating bank in Italy, established in 1472. In reality, back in the Middle Ages many families were involved in money lending or changing, as all the different city-states of Italy were minting their own currency ... Good times to be a banker considering that interests were not regulated, eh?

    Let's continue while I tell you more. Take the street across the square, the one beginning at the corner of the Kiko Make Up Milan store and going downhill.

    Their clients would have been Italians as well as foreigners, travelling for business or on a pilgrimage. Have you ever thought that tourism started back then?!

    Across Europe, many would have travelled to significant religious sites, in order to have their sins forgiven: either to Santiago de Compostela, to Jerusalem or to Rome.

    And the road you were just walking on is the one heading to or from the Eternal City. Just try to imagine it filled back then with people of different origins, with shops, with smells - some of them not very pleasant, with colours ... buzzing with life just like today!

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From the Golden Age to the Glory of Siena’s Present Traditions