Siena is a city of approximately 50,000 residents, located in the heart of Tuscany. Built on three steep hills and encircled by ancient walls, Siena is known for its medieval, pedestrian-friendly cityscape, as well as its cuisine, museums, art, and architecture. The city offers an array of cultural events, concerts, cinema, theatre and sporting activities. Some of the most prominent landmarks include the Duomo, the cathedral begun in the 12th century, and the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo (Siena’s town square), which houses the Palazzo Pubblico, the town hall. The city is comprised of a series of wards, each with its own boundaries and identity. Ward rivalries come to life during Siena’s signature event, the Palio horse race in Piazza del Campo.
From Siena, you can reach a number of other destinations in Italy by train or bus. Several major cities including Florence, Rome, and Bologna are easily accessible.
Housing and On-site Support
Students will be housed in shared apartment accommodations in the city center. The apartments are typically shared by 2-6 students; each apartment includes a shared bedroom(s) and fully equipped kitchen and is a short bus ride to the hospital where the laboratory is located and typically walking distance to the IES Abroad Center. The IES Abroad Center is located in a palace on the famous Piazza del Campo – a large, sunny plaza that is a center of social life in Siena. The palace, called Palazzo Chigi Zondadari, was built in the 18th century and served as a home to the prominent Chigi family whose lineage includes many intellectuals, artists, businessmen, and even a pope!
Features of the IES Abroad Center include:
- Multimedia classrooms
- Student lounge and library
- Computer lab
- Wireless Internet access throughout the Center
Veronica Semeraro is the Center Director of the IES Abroad Center in Siena and has worked there since the founding of the program in 2006 when she was hired as the Student Affairs Coordinator. Since that time, she has been actively involved in all aspects of the program, including housing, customized programs, arrival and orientation, field trips, and academic coordination. Veronica was promoted to Center Director of IES Abroad Siena in 2012. Prior to working with IES Abroad, Veronica graduated with honors in Archaeology from the University of Siena. Her thesis addressed the GIS platform of the newly discovered and frescoed rooms beneath the Cathedral of Siena. She contributed, with vectorial maps and archaeological drawings, to the publication Sotto il Duomo di Siena (2003). Upon winning a research grant following graduation, Veronica spent six years working in the University of Siena archaeology laboratory in Computer Science. She also spent several years drawing dig maps while working on site in various important archaeological digs in Tuscany (rooms beneath the Siena Cathedral; castle of Miranduolo, Podium Bonizio village) specializing in GIS technology. Veronica is an avid traveler and a member of an all-female Brazilian drum group in Siena. Upon arrival you will meet all of the IES Abroad Siena staff, and they will serve as your 24/7 point of contact for the duration of the program.