Cloth $26.00 ISBN: 9780226207827 Will Publish March 2015
An e-book edition will be published.

Siena

City of Secrets

Jane Tylus

Siena
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Jane Tylus

256 pages | 33 color plates, 3 halftones, 3 maps | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Cloth $26.00 ISBN: 9780226207827 Will Publish March 2015
E-book $18.00 ISBN: 9780226207964 Will Publish March 2015
Jane Tylus’s Siena is a compelling and intimate portrait of this most secretive of cities, often overlooked by travelers to Italy. Cultural history and intellectual memoir, travelogue and guidebook, it takes the reader on a quest of discovery through the well- and not-so-well-traveled roads and alleys of a town both medieval and modern.
           
As Tylus leads us through the city, she shares her passion for Siena in novelistic prose, while never losing sight of the historical complexities that have made Siena one of the most fascinating and beautiful towns in Europe. Today, Siena can appear on the surface standoffish and old-fashioned, especially when compared to its larger, flashier cousins Rome and Florence. But first impressions wear away as we learn from Tylus that Siena was an innovator among the cities of Italy: the first to legislate the building and maintenance of its streets, the first to publicly fund its university, the first to institute a municipal bank, and even the first to ban automobile traffic from its city center.
           
We learn about Siena’s great artistic and architectural past, hidden behind centuries of painting and rebuilding, and about the distinctive characters of its different neighborhoods, exemplified in the Palio, the highly competitive horserace that takes place twice a year in the city’s main piazza and that serves as both a dividing and a uniting force for the Sienese. Throughout we are guided by the assured voice of a seasoned scholar with a gift for spinning a good story and an eye for the telling detail, whether we are traveling Siena’s modern highways, exploring its underground tunnels, tracking the city’s financial history, or celebrating giants of painting like Simone Martini or giants of the arena, Siena’s former Serie A soccer team.
           
A practical and engaging guide for tourists and armchair travelers alike, Siena is a testament to the powers of community and resilience in a place that is not quite as timeless and serene as it may at first appear.
Leonard Barkan, Princeton University
“Siena is indeed a city of secrets; it’s always been too secretive for me, despite (or because of) its breathtakingly beautiful surfaces. Tylus manages wonderfully to unfold mysteries while keeping the secrets alive and alluring. The book is a marvelous mixture of erudition and personal reminiscence. Her literary and historical mastery is absolute, but she is also a delightful companion enabling us to travel the city as it exists now and the city with centuries of its history as though intact before our gaze. Read City of Secrets and see Siena through the eyes of a particularly gifted observer who is also a gifted writer.”
Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction / City of Secrets

1 Terra and Acqua
2 Pilgrims
3 Money
4 Neighborhoods
5 Saints

Afterwords
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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