This public square is the centerpiece of Siena and is often referred to as its heart and soul. The Piazza is considered one of Europe's best examples of a medieval square for its beauty and architecture. The piazza is often crowded with people and is the gathering place of both residents and tourists alike. The square is home to the twice-a-year horse race known as the Palio, in which the 17 distinct areas of the city race against one another. When you first walk into the Piazza, the first thing you notice is the Tower of Mangia. Built in the 13th century, the Tower rises 335 feet above the square and is the the third tallest in all of Italy. Legend has it that the tower got its name from a bell ringer who would climb the 400 steps to the bell and ring it. His nickname was Mangiaguadagni, which he purportedly earned because he often ate through his money.