Siena, Italy

Column of the she-wolf

A striking feature of the Piazza del Duomo is the Column of the She-Wolf. According to legend, the sons of Remus were the original founders of Siena.

Romulus and Remus, born of a she-wolf had founded Rome, but when Romulus killed Remus his sons feared for their lives and fled the city. As they left Rome, they stole the statue of the She-Wolf from Apollo's Temple.

Their hasty journey brought them to the hill of Castelvecchio where they founded the ancient city of Sena (named after Senius). While becoming a symbol of the new city, the she-wolf was also a permanent reminder of their origins.

The legend goes on to say that Senius was riding a white horse and Aschius a black one, giving the city its symbolic black and white colors. As well as the Column of the She-Wolf in the cathedral square, there are many other statues and references to wolves dotted around the city.