Siena is located in the central part of Tuscany, in the middle of a vast hilly landscape south west of the Chianti area.  The city lies at 322 m (1,056 ft) above sea level.  Siena did not prosper under Roman rule. It was not sited near any major roads and lacked opportunities for trade. Its insular status meant that Christianity did not penetrate until the 4th century AD.The city is historically linked to commercial and banking activities, having been a major banking center until the 13th and 14th centuries. Siena is also home to the oldest bank in the world, which has been operating continuously since 1472 “Monte dei Paschi di Siena”