Siena (Italian pronunciation [sjɛːna]) is the name of a town with 53,903 inhabitants (December 31, 2015) and a former city-state in the center of the Italian Tuscany. Siena is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany and Italy. Already always it is in rivalry with Florence, in political, economic or artistic terms. While Florence impressed as a prime example of a Renaissance city especially by the sheer mass and size of its architectural and art, Siena received the medieval character of Italian Gothic. The historic old town is since 1995 a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The University of Siena, founded in 1240, is one of the oldest universities in Italy and is now used by about 20,000 students besucht.Aus Siena comes the Saint Catherine of Siena. Siena is also famous for the Palio di Siena, a horse race that takes place on the central square, Piazza del Campo. In the race, which since the Middle Ages has a huge importance for Siena, twice a year occur every ten of the 17 districts (contrade) of the town against each other.