Siena is a charming Tuscan City with less visitors than nearby Florence, but with similar architecture. Many travellers believe a trip to Siena is to experience true Italy, which offers visitors the complete package.
It has a rich history and culture, mediaeval walls and streets, the imposing Torre del Mangia and of course its magnificent Siena Cathedral and famous Piazza del Campo square.
For wine lovers’ partial to a decent chianti, Siena is located in the Chianti region of central Tuscany, and is a producer of this authentic red wine.
Without further ado, Feet Do Travel show you why you should visit Siena, Italy.
One of the reasons you should visit Italy is for its fabulous history, and Siena has this in abundance.
While there is still much debate as to when it was founded, it is believed it was the Eutruscans in the 12th century BC. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages, that the city saw developments in art and architecture, and most of the prominent towers, churches and monuments which make the city and skyline so unique today, were built during this period.
You can enjoy Siena at your own pace using the GPSmyCity App, or to learn more of Siena's history, you can take a guided tour.
The magnificent Duomo di Siena Cathedral
Siena boasts one of Italy’s must-visit Cathedrals, the Duomo di Siena.
This stunning 13th century black and white gothic church is decorated with intricate statues and carvings. Inside the Cathedral you can find magnificent mosaics and frescos by Michelangelo and Donatello. However, the most spectacular piece of art is the 14th century marble floor mosaic.
The Duomo di Siena, like many other monuments in Tuscany which include the church of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce in Florence, distinguish their identity and history through Gothic art.
Towering over the Piazza del Campo is the Torre del Mangia which was built in 1348. Standing 102 metres, it is exactly the same height as Duomo di Siena Cathedral, which was to show that the church and state had equal amounts of power
It’s a fantastic place to sit, watch, drink and watching people passing by, the best way to soak up the wonderful Italian culture in this famous square.
Speaking of the Piazza del Campo, twice a year this beautiful square is transformed into a sand track for one of the world’s most important historical horse races – the Palio di Siena.
It is held every 2 July and 16 August in one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, which is world renowned for its unique shell-shape and beauty. Thousands flock from all over the world to watch one of the most exhilarating events of the year. For a spectacular view of this race, watch it from the top of the Torre del Mangia.
If you want to try traditional Siena cuisine, be warned, you are going to fall in love!
One of the best dishes to try in Siena is pici. This pasta — similar to spaghetti but slightly thicker — is typically served with cacio e pepe; pecorino cheese and black pepper.
Siena is also known for its Tuscan desserts: enjoy typical cookies such as Cavallucci, Berriquocoli and Ricciarelli.
For wine lovers, you will know that Tuscany produces some of the best red wines in Italy. Siena is no exception — the City is located between two important wine producing regions, Montalcino and Chianti. This paradise for wine enthusiasts, offers an array of diverse wine estates from which you can enjoy a wine tasting, and delicious meal.
Every Wednesday, Siena is home to Tuscany’s largest open-air market, the Mercato La Lizza. Between 8:30am to 1:30pm near the old fort, you can find an array of stalls selling everything from clothing and homeware, to fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Stay in a Siena villa
The best way to immerse yourself with the Siena culture, is to rent your own villa near Siena. Tuscany Now & More offer a large selection of luxury villas, perfect for those who wish have a base near Siena. These weekly villa rentals are not only affordable, but each villa comes with a private swimming pool, air-conditioned bedrooms and an award-winning Concierge service.
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