You will find Siena amidst the rolling Tuscan hills, nestled between the Merse and Elsa Valleys, and the Chianti hills. It is one of Tuscany’s most beautiful towns, and offers some of the region’s most breathtaking views. It has a long and varied history, from Etruscans, Romans, Lombards, and more. In fact, some of the oldest aristocratic families in Siena date their heritage back to the Lombard surrender to Charlemagne in 774 AD!
One of its most famous features is the Piazza del Campo. This shell-shaped square has been the centre of Sienese life since the 14th Century. It has seen innumerable markets, festivals, and political events throughout the years, and remains a meeting place for the townspeople. You will also find the Fonte di Gaia, which many deem Siena’s most beautiful fountain. The centrepiece, however, is the majestic Torre del Mangia. Looming 88m high over the piazza, this tower as majestic as it is stunning. From here you can moreover enjoy gorgeous views over the Sienese cityscape. Adjoining this torre is the Palazzo Pubblico. Within this building you will find the Museo Civico di Siena, where you can learn about the cit’s history, and marvel at the impressive Lorenzetti frescoes.
The Piazza del Campo is also home to the Palio. This famous horse race takes place twice a year, around the perimeter of the piazza. Visitors should be warned that this race attracts very large crowds, and so those wishing to peacefully wander Siena’s streets may wish to avoid these days!
The town is also famous for its Duomo. Its striking black and white façade is not all that attracts people to this Cathedral. Inside you will find an absolutely beautiful esoteric and religious relics, remains, and art, detailing Siena’s history. In the Piccolomini Chapel of the Duomo, you can also admire the four statues that Michelangelo himself worked on between 1501-4. You can also visit the museum, should you desire to enjoy further works of art and historical artefacts.
When in Siena, it is impossible to ignore the incredible gastronomy that it boasts. Here, in the midst of the Tuscan context, Siena does not disappoint when it comes to its cheeses, meats, and of course wine. Why not pick up some traditional Cantucci, Ricciarelli, or Panforte whilst in the area?
It is extremely easy to access Siena, with great road and train connections. Moreover, most airports in Tuscany will offer connections to such a popular destination.