The Italian city of Siena is located in the heart of Tuscany and is surrounded by a picturesque landscape of vineyards and cypress avenues. In addition to the city of Siena, one can explore the surrounding area and the beautiful countryside of Tuscany.
1. Piazza del Campo & Palazzo Pubblico with Museo Civico & Torre del Mangia
Piazza del Campo. Considered one of the largest medieval squares in Europe, this former market square, with its unique shell shape and architectural integrity, has become the symbol of this Tuscan city.
The Palazzo Pubblico di Siena, built at the beginning of the 14th century, rises imposingly on the Piazza del Capo and, together with the towering Torre del Mangi, is the symbol of the city. If you want a unique view of the whole of Siena, you have to climb over 300 steps to climb the Torre Mangia, but you will then be rewarded with an unforgettable view. The Palazzo Pubblico now houses the Municipal Museum. There are many famous frescoes in the Sala del Mappamondo (Maps Room). Two world-famous frescoes from the 14th century by Simone Martini face each other here. The first work shows the Maesta (Madonna Enthroned) and the second work shows Guidoriccio da Fogliano on horseback defeating the lords of the castle who had risen against Siena. Another famous work in the palace is the Depiction of Good and Bad Government, by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
2. Duomo di Siena & Battistero & Museo dell'Opera della Metropolitana
Siena Cathedral, called Cattedrale Metropolitana di Santa Maria Assunta, is one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture in Italy. It took around 200 years to complete and the style of the cathedral reflects the transition from Romanesque to Gothic. Beautiful here is the magnificent facade of dark green and white marble, adorned with countless details.
Inside the cathedral there are countless art treasures by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Nicola Pisano, Donatello, Pinturicchio, Beccafumi, Michelangelo and Bernini to admire. Scenes from the Old Testament are depicted on the cathedral's elaborate marble floor, painstakingly immortalized on 56 marble slabs. This marble floor is covered to protect against wear and tear and can only be visited during certain months. Another highlight in the cathedral are the stained glass windows by Duccio di Buoninsegna, as well as the standing sculptures by Giovanni Pisano, Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia.
You can also reach the Facciatone viewing platform via the Cathedral Museum. From here you have a wonderful view over the city. On the way through the museum complex of the cathedral, you reach the right aisle of the new cathedral. Here is the Opera Museum, one of the oldest private museums in Italy. In the rooms on the ground floor there is an important collection of 14th-century Sienese statues, taken from the facade of the Duomo. On the first floor of the museum is the magnificent altarpiece depicting the Maestà by Duccio di Buoninsegna. It is the pinnacle of the entire collection, an absolute masterpiece of early 14th-century Italian painting.
Behind the cathedral is the remarkable Baptistery of San Giovanni (baptistery). Here you can admire 15th-century frescoes by the painter Lorenzo di Pietro, known as Vecchietta, and the baptismal font by Jacopo della Quercia, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Donatello. Piccolomini Library.
The impressive Piccolomini Library is also absolutely worth seeing. It is located directly in Siena Cathedral, in the left aisle. Here, in addition to the magnificent handwritten manuscripts, you will find a fantastic collection of frescoes and artistic paintings painted by Pinturicchio and some of his students.
It is worth buying a ticket to visit the entire church complex, either online or at the information desk next to the cathedral. It includes guided tours of the cathedral and museum. You can also visit the Baptistery, the Crypt, the Piccolomini Library and the Facciatone.
3. Churches of Siena
If you walk from the central Piazza del Campo in the direction of the Basilica di San Domenico, you will pass the viewpoint Terrazza Panoramica vicolo Campaccio. One of the most beautiful views of Siena awaits you here, the city looks like something out of a picture book and from here you can admire the Duomo, the Torre del Mangia and the many old, yellow and terracotta-colored houses that characterize the cityscape of Siena.
The Basilica di San Domenico is dedicated to the founder of the Dominican Order, but is also closely linked to the devotion to Saint Catherine of Siena. The church is located on the outskirts of the historic town center and was built in the 13th century by the Dominicans on behalf of the Malavolti family from Senes. The unadorned form of the church, built in the Gothic period, corresponds to the simplicity desired by the mendicant orders. Worth mentioning is, among other things, the chapel of St. Catherine, which was designed by Niccolo Bensi. On the altar are the relics of the saints.
Basilica of San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi. This church is particularly dear to the Sienese people as it was the second Marian sanctuary in the city for centuries. The building is externally devoid of any decoration and thus meets the need of the new mendicant orders for simplicity of messages and forms. The church, with an Egyptian plan, contains both artistic and spiritual works of great value, mainly dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The most important are the Madonna del Bordone by Coppo di Marcovaldo, the Coronation of the Virgin by Bernardino Fungai and the Madonna della Misericordia by Giovanni di Paolo.
4. Museums of Siena
The Santa Maria della Scala museum complex was one of the oldest hospitals in Europe. Built on the Via Francigena just in front of the magnificent Siena Cathedral, it is now an important and imposing museum complex. It has an extensive collection covering different historical eras as well as artistic and architectural styles. The main attractions are the labyrinth of galleries and levels, the colorful frescoes, the archive of archaeological finds and the treasures kept in the reliquary hall. The ticket corner is located near the museum entrance. In this area you have free access to the bar where you will find a wide selection of sandwiches and pastries. An audio guide in several languages is included in the admission ticket.
La Taverna di San Giuseppe
Der Gastraum des Restaurants war in römischer Zeit ein Backsteintunnel. Das Personal ist außergewöhnlich höflich und die Küche bringt authentische toskanische Köstlichkeiten auf den Tisch.
In Roman times, the dining room of the restaurant was a brick tunnel. The staff is exceptionally polite and the kitchen brings authentic Tuscan delicacies to the table.
Address Via Giovanni Duprè 132, Siena
Phone +39 0577 42 286
Osteria Le Logge
Restaurant mit Charme. In der ehemaligen Drogerie stehen noch die Verkaufstheke und die Vitrinenschränke von einst. Hier, im Gastraum im 1.Stock wird heute gekocht, auf hohem Niveau.
Charming restaurant. The sales counter and display cabinets of yesteryear are still standing in the former drugstore. Here, in the guest room on the 1st floor, the cooking is done today, at a high level.
Address Via del Porrione 33, Siena
Phone +39 0577 48 013
Nur einen Steinwurf von der Piazza del Campo entfernt können Sie in dieser modernen Osteria traditionelle Gerichte probieren.
A stone's throw from Piazza del Campo, you can taste traditional dishes in this modern osteria.
Address Via Pantaneto 85-87, Siena
Phone +39 0577 22 24 82
Mugolone - Restaurant
Elegantes Restaurant unweit der Piazza del Campo mit erstklassiger toskanischer Küche. Familiärer und trotzdem professioneller Service.
Elegant restaurant not far from the Piazza del Campo with first-class Tuscan cuisine.Familiar yet professional service.
Address Via dei Pellegrini 8/10
Phone +39 0577 28 32 35
6. Excursions to interesting towns in the Siena area
Excursions to places of interest around Siena if you have a little more time (indicating the distance from Siena):
Ponte della Pia (Rosia, Sovicille - 13 km from Siena)
Stone arch bridge, probably built in Roman times, near the village of Rosia
Chianti Sculpture Park ( Pievasciata - 13 km from Siena )
An exhibition of contemporary installations and sculptures created by international artists from five continents.
Monteriggioni ( In the province of Siena - 20 km from Siena )
The community is known for its historic castle, which sits imposingly on the Monte Ala hill and towers majestically over the Tuscan landscape.
Abbazia di San Galgano ( Chiusdino - 24 km from Siena )
The complex consisting of the "Eremo o Rotonda di Montesiepi" and the ruins of the "Grande Abbazia di Circestense di San Galgano" is one of the most impressive in this area of Italy.
Rapolano Terme (south of Siena - 32 km from Siena)
Here you will find two wonderful thermal baths that you can visit for an entrance fee:
Terme San Giovanni
Adress Via Terme S. Giovanni 52, Rapolano Terme (SI)
Phone +39 0577 72 40 30
Terme Antica Querciolaia
Address Via Trieste 22, Rapolano Terme (SI)
Phone +39 0577 72 40 91
Good restaurant with nice ambience in agriturismo, near Rapolano Terme.
Address Podere Ischieto, Serre di Rapolano (SI)
Phone +39 0577 70 50 25
Podere La Chiusella - only 1 km from Rapolano Therme
At the Chiusella Farm there are seven apartments that have been completely restored and furnished with antiques and typical Tuscan artifacts. Each apartment has all comforts and outside areas are for the comfort of all the guests. There is a swimming pool, lovely garden, and inner court. There is ample parking. Located in an area strewn with innumerable historical sites you can also find thermal waters at (38 C ) for beauty and health treatments. You can easily reach the most important historical and artistic centres of middle Italy from here: Siena, Florence, San Gimignano, Perugia, Assisi and others.
Address Località Armaiolo 64 - Rapolano Terme (Siena)
Phone +39 347 714 78 31
Montalcino (Val d'Orcia - 42 km from Siena )
The famous Brunello flows in its wine cellars and restaurants and its historic old town contains many medieval gems
Colline del Chianti (all around Siena)
The Chianti area, also called Colline del Chianti (Chianti Hills) or Monti del Chianti (Chianti Mountains), is a chain of hills (mountain range) in central Tuscany where Chianti wine has been produced for centuries. The wine-growing region makes up about a third of Tuscany.
San Quirico d'Orcia ( Val d'Orcia - 47 km from Siena)
In the Val d'Orcia lies this ancient village, probably of Etruscan origin, in the midst of an incredible, gently rolling hilly landscape with olive groves, vineyards and oak forests.
San Gimignano ( In the province of Siena - 48 km from Siena)
The city of many towers
Bagno Vignoni ( Val d'Orcia - 53 km from Siena )
Medieval town with healing thermal springs
Castigione d'Orcia (Val d'Orcia - 55 km from Siena)
Castiglione d'Orcia is a small town immersed in the landscape of the Val d'Orcia, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Radicofani ( Val d'Orcia - 59 km from Siena )
On a hill on the southern border of the Val d'Orcia rises one of the most impressive castles in Tuscany, which was also one of the most important fortresses in Italy for centuries: Radicofani
Pienza ( Val d'Orcia - 60 km from Siena)
The town of Pienza is a real gem in southern Tuscany. Around the main square of Pienza, the Piazza Pio II, the four most impressive buildings in the city were built.
Montepulciano ( Val d'Orcia - 61 km from Siena)
Medieval hill town.
Colle Val d'Elsa ( In the province of Siena - 61 km from Siena)
This hill town rises in its oldest part on a hill not far from San Gimignano. For centuries, Colle Val d'Elsa has been the capital of crystal glass
Terme dei Bagni di San Filippo ( Val d'Orcia - 67 km from Siena)
Bagni San Filippo are beautiful hot springs in the forests of Tuscany and are among the insider tips of the region among connoisseurs
San Casciano dei Bagni ( Val di Chiana - 67 km from Siena)
The roots of San Casciano dei Bagni go back to Etruscan and Roman times, who built the first thermal baths there
Cortona (near Arezzo - 72 km from Siena)
Cortona enchants above all with its breathtaking views and medieval atmosphere, which can be enjoyed walking along these steep streets.
Arezzo (75 km from Siena)
Backed by the Apennines and surrounded by the typical Tuscan vineyards, Arezzo impresses with a slightly decayed medieval flair.
Volterra (located west of Siena, towards the sea - 112 km from Siena)
Fantastically romantic Etruscan town in Tuscany.
Dom of Siena
Siena - Palazzo Pubblico
Siena - Piazza del Campo
Dom of Siena
On the left: Basilica di San Donemico - in the middle: Dom of Siena
Siena - Piazza del Campo and on the righthand side Palazzo Pubblico
Siena - Piazza del Campo
Dom of Siena
Palazzo Pubblico di Siena, at the Piazza del Campo