During most of 1985 and 1986, when I was doing research for my dissertation, I had the good fortune to live in Siena. At the end of one of my occasional trips to Florence, I boarded a train heading back to the City of the Virgin and found myself in a carriage with another woman as my sole companion. She and I began to chat, in the way that one does on a train, and after learning I was an American scholar studying music, she posed the question, “Which city do you like best, Florence or Siena?” Fortunately, my Italian was good enough at that point to render my answer both sophisticated and diplomatic, but in the end, I could confess truthfully and enthusiastically that I was fondest of Siena. She leaned forward in her seat, her face aglow with pleasure, and confided in me, “The Florentines have never forgiven us for the Battle of Montaperti.”