Touring Siena - Infos about the city and what to visit

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  • The unique Piazza del Campo

  • The beautiful Dome of Siena

  • Fun in Siena

Things to do in Siena

Siena is a small but very charming medieval city, full of history and folklore. As soon as you arrived you will feel it: drumming rolls and contrada’s anthem through little streets, lovely shops with local products, food and wine.

So, if you are ready to experience everything this city has to offer, stay tuned!
Here you will find our suggestions about what to do, the best places to visit and how to live a couple of days like a real sienese citizen.

Cultural and artistic sightseeing

There is nothing better than starting the day with a coffee or a cappuccino with a “pasta” ( like the locals call the croissant). Probably, one of the best places and the best way to do it is at Pasticceria Nannini , right in the city centre: Via Banchi di Sopra. This is the main and most crowded street of Siena, near Piazza del Campo.
Now that your bellies are full it’s time to start the tour in Piazza del Campo, the well-known, shell-shaped square, just a stone’s throw away from Nannini’s. During the year it hosts public occasions such as concerts, parties and political events, and - of course - the most famous horse race of the world, the Palio.

Things to do in Siena Allegorie Lorenzetti Civic Museum

This “piazza” is a gathering point both for citizens and tourists. If it pleases you, it’s nice to have a seat or lay down on the ground and watch the sky, it will be framed by the tops of the surrounding buildings. On the edge of the piazza you can spot a wonderful marble fountain, Fonte Gaia, by Jacopo della Quercia, which at the time was a symbol of richness and power; now a water supply for all the Via Francigena’s pilgrims.
In front of the Piazza there are Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia. Inside the palace, is housed the city hall and the Civic Museum, which contains the famous allegories of  Lorenzetti “The Bad and The Good Government” that represent the principles by which Siena was founded.

If you are not afraid of heights and willing to walk 400 steps you can venture the Torre del Mangia and enjoy the extraordinary panoramic view: it’s definitely worth the effort!
Not far from Piazza del Campo there are the Cathedral and the Baptistery of Santa Caterina, one of the most important religious sites of all the city, as well as the Museum of Santa Maria della Scala, which host several exhibition.
A little bit away from the city centre there is the Church of San Domenico, a huge architecture which contains the head of Santa Caterina.

However to appreciate all the wonders of Siena we recommend Alessia she will guide you through the city with customized itineraries to satisfy your necessities.

What and where to eat in Siena

Siena has many restaurants and “osterie”, and the food is often amazing. Every dish is delicious, but if you really want to taste the true flavours of Siena, you ought to eat Pici cacio e pepe or Pappardelle al ragù di cinghiale (two traditional kinds of pasta, one with pecorino cheese and the other with wild boar sauce), and have a glass of Chianti Colli Senesi wine at Osteria il Vinaio, in Via di Camollia... on a budget!

Explore Siena in contact with nature

Things to do in Siena Nature

If the weather is good we recommend to spend some time in the beautiful gardens of the city, like the Botanic Garden and the Orto dei Pecci.

The first one has medieval origin and has been recently restored by the University of Siena. It’s placed under the ancient walls of the city and it’s one of the kind: it has singular greenhouses, little lakes and paths.
The other is very peculiar: it doesn’t possess fancy plants, but it has peacocks wandering free around the garden.

Travelling with children

Inside the Museum of Santa Maria della Scala there is also the Children Art’s Museum, conceived as a place to teach the youngster the beauty of art.

After a day of sightseeing here and there your children will be tired. There are a couple of  playgrounds where they can rest or play: one very central near Piazza Gramsci and the other in piazza Amendola, 20 minutes by foot from the city centre.

A night out

Although the nightlife in Siena doesn’t offer much there is a little bit to suit everybody’s fancy;  there are a couple of pubs and wine bars always open, such as San Paolo’s Pub, Cacio&Pere Wine Bar and Bar il Campo, some of them with live music, especially in the week-ends; If you’re into craft beer, for example, you can have a burger with the perfect matching  beer at Birra la Diana, in Via Stufasecca.
 Sometimes there are even free concerts in Piazza del Campo including Notte dei Ricercatori - Bright (= Researchers’ night),  hosted by the University of Siena; not to mention the numerous contrada’s parties around the year!

Opera and classical music lovers will enjoy the several festivals hosted by the Accademia Musicale Chigiana with its Chigiana International Festival and Summer Academy and  the Italian Opera Siena in the Auditorium Santo Stefano with musicians and opera singers from all over the world.

Otherwise, if you’re looking for a quiet place to stay you may have a cup of tea with a slice of cake at the Tea Room of Porta Giustizia. They have a vast choice of tea and the cakes are mouthwatering!
Or, if it’s not cold outside you can buy a drink wherever you like and walk back in Piazza del Campo to watch the stars.

Shopping in Siena

There are many shops in Siena where it’s possible to buy local products, in particular in the  little “botteghe” which sells Chianti  and Brunello di Montalcino wine and the tasty extra virgin olive oil together with typical savory  products including, cured meat and pecorino cheese.

Siena is very famous also for its typical pastries, known as ricciarelli, panforte,  panpepato and cavallucci, made with simple ingredients like almonds and nuts, candid fruits and spieces, which are usually eaten during Christmas time.

So plan your weekend, come to Siena, book the best hotel and enjoy your stay!