For more than 400 years Northern travellers to Siena have passed through the Porta Camollia, a gate that is inscribed with the words, COR MAGIS TIBI SENA PANDIT (Siena opens up to you a heart that is greater [than the gate through which you are passing]).
However, the greeting wasn't addressed to visitors in general, but to one in particular. The Porta Camollia was built in 1604 to honour the arrival of Ferdinando I de' Medici (r. 1587-1609), grand duke of Tuscany.
In addition to the inscription, the gate sports the coat of arms of the Medici family, for in 1557 Siena had been sold to Ferdinando's father, Cosimo I de' Medici (r. 1537-74), duke of Florence. The city's centuries-old enemy had become its ruler!
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