Siena is a beautiful medieval city in Italy’s Tuscany region. With its red-brick buildings and picturesque piazzas, it’s no wonder Siena is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. In this article, we’ll give you an insider’s guide to the best places to see and things to do in Siena.
The Duomo of Siena
The Duomo of Siena is one of the most beautiful and iconic landmarks in Italy. This massive cathedral is a must-see for any traveler to the country. The exterior of the cathedral is covered in intricate sculptures and carvings, and the interior is just as stunning. The Duomo is a symbol of Siena’s rich history and culture, and is definitely worth a visit.
The Palazzo Pubblico
Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. The palazzo was originally built in the 13th century as a government palace, and it has been the seat of Siena’s government ever since. The exterior of the palazzo is decorated with numerous sculptures and frescoes, and the interior is home to several important works of art, including a fresco cycle by Simone Martini. Visitors to the Palazzo Pubblico can explore the ground floor gallery free of charge, or take a guided tour of the rest of the building for a small fee.
The Baptistery of San Giovanni
The Baptistery of San Giovanni is one of the most important historical sites in Siena, Italy. This beautiful building was constructed in the 12th century and served as a baptistery for the city’s cathedral. The Baptistery is decorated with stunning mosaics and artwork, and it is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Siena.
The Cathedral Museum
The Cathedral Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Siena. It is located in the heart of the city and houses a large collection of art and artifacts from the Sienese Cathedral. The museum is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and admission is €8 for adults and €4 for children.
The Piccolomini Library
The Piccolomini Library is one of the must-see places in Siena, Italy. This stunning library is part of the Cathedral of Siena and was built in the 14th century. It is named after its founder, Cardinal Piccolomini, who was also a pope. The library has beautiful frescoes on its walls and ceilings, which were painted by Pinturicchio. The Piccolomini Library is definitely a place not to be missed while visiting Siena!
Santa Maria della Scala
If you’re looking for a beautiful and historic place to explore in Siena, Italy, be sure to check out Santa Maria della Scala. This former hospital is now a museum and cultural center, and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. The building itself is stunning, and there are plenty of interesting art and artifacts to see inside. You can also learn about the history of the hospital and how it helped the people of Siena during times of need. Whether you’re interested in history or just want to see some beautiful architecture, Santa Maria della Scala is definitely worth a visit.
Siena Cathedral is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in Siena, Italy. The cathedral is home to a number of important works of art, including Michelangelo’s Pietà and Bernini’s bust of Pope Urban VIII. The cathedral also has a number of important architectural features, including its Gothic facade and its famous black and white striped marble interior.
If you’re looking to explore the rich history of Siena, a visit to Palazzo Pubblico is a must. This 14th-century public building was once the seat of Siena’s government, and today it houses a museum full of art and artifacts from the city’s past. Visitors can also climb to the top of the Palazzo’s tower for sweeping views of Siena and the Tuscan countryside.
Santa Maria della Scala
If you’re looking for a place to explore Siena’s religious history, look no further than the Santa Maria della Scala. This former hospital is now a museum, and it’s full of interesting artwork and artifacts. You can also learn about the hospital’s role in caring for pilgrims on their way to Rome.
Bernardino of Siena
If you’re looking for a little bit of history while in Siena, look no further than the Bernardino of Siena. This 14th-century friar was known for his work in spreading the Catholic faith throughout Italy. He also had a strong connection to Siena and helped to shape the city’s religious character. Today, you can visit his tomb inside the church that bears his name.
Strolling the streets of Siena
One of the best ways to experience the beauty and character of Siena is simply to stroll around its streets. By getting lost in the winding alleyways you’ll stumble across hidden gems such as medieval courtyards, beautiful churches and stunning views. For the best views head up to Fortezza Medicea, an imposing fortress built in the 16th century, or to one of Siena’s many bell towers.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during the Palio, a horse race that takes place twice a year in Siena’s main square, you’ll really get a sense of the city’s energy and vibrancy. Even if you’re not visiting during the Palio, the Piazza del Campo is still worth a visit – it’s one of the most beautiful squares in Italy.
Eating and drinking in Siena
There are plenty of great places to eat and drink in Siena. Here are some of our favourites:
Il Palio – This is a must-try restaurant if you’re visiting Siena. The food is absolutely amazing, and the atmosphere is very romantic.
Osteria Il Chianti – Another great option for a romantic dinner. The food here is also excellent, and the wine list is very impressive.
Enoteca I Ciarlatani – This is a great place to stop for a drink or two. They have an enormous selection of wines, and the staff are always happy to help you find the perfect one to suit your taste.
Bar Stuzzichini – If you’re looking for a more casual place to grab a drink, this is the perfect spot. They have a great selection of beers, as well as some tasty snacks to go along with them.
Things to do in Siena
There are plenty of things to see and do in Siena. Here are some of our favourites:
Visit the Duomo – This is a must-see for any visitor to Siena. The cathedral is absolutely stunning, and you can even climb to the top of its famous bell tower for some incredible views over the city.
Explore the Palazzo Pubblico – This is one of the most iconic buildings in Siena, and it’s well worth a visit. Make sure to check out the incredible frescoes inside.
Climb up to Fortezza Medicea – This fortress offers some of the best views over Siena. It’s a bit of a hike to get up there, but it’s definitely worth it.
Take a walk through the Tuscan countryside – There are some beautiful walks to be had just outside of Siena. Head to one of the many vineyards or olive groves for some truly stunning scenery.