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Shopping, Parking & Getting Around

  • Shopping

    The main shopping streets are Via Banchi di Sopra and Via di Città. Don’t expect glitzy malls and shopping centres. Sienese shopping is like the city: low-key and small-scale. Siena is full of tempting food shops, chic boutiques and quirky craft shops. Tuscan treats, such as oil, wine, pastries and cheeses, are the best buys. The Wednesday morning main market curves around the Fortezza Medicea, the Medici fortress and La Lizza. Browse for cheap clothes, leather bags and foodstuffs.

  • Nannini

    The most famous place for panforte is both a bar and pastry shop, and run by the family of pop star, Gianna Nannini. Panforte, a spicy Sienese cake, used to be considered a Christmas or festive treat but is now eaten all year round. The intense flavours are created by the mix of honey, almonds, hazelnuts, candied orange peel, and a secret blend of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

    Address: Bar Conca d’Oro, Banchi di Sopra 24, 53100 Siena
    Web: www.pasticcerianannini.it

  • Pasticceria Bini

    This pastry shop occupies what was supposedly Duccio’s workshop, which explains the wide medieval doorway, needed for the artist to transport his masterpiece, the Maesta, to Siena cathedral. Come for ricciarelli, small, almond biscuits, which are far lighter than panforte.

    Address: Via Stalloreggi 91, 53100 Siena

  • Antica Drogheria Manganelli

    Carved into the former stables of a patrician palace is another exotic shop for Sienese delights. Founded it 1879, this shop sells Sienese pastries. Exotic spices reached Siena along the Via Francigena pilgrimage route, and many find their way into the medieval recipes still used today.

    Address: Via di Citta 71, 53100 Siena

  • Parking & Getting Around

    To savour Siena, simply trust your feet, remembering that the city is hillier than it looks.  Siena is mostly pedestrianised so walking is one of the city’s greatest joys. Conversely, Siena is a nightmare for drivers so the car is best deposited in a car park for your visit. Medieval Siena was not designed for cars. The city is in a ZTL system (Limited Traffic Zone) so closed to most traffic in the historic centre. Car parks lie outside the city walls. The recommended one is Parcheggio Stazione (Piazzale Fratelli Rosselli) for the train station but also the centre, via a city bus (Tiemme service) that leaves every 15 minutes for the centre. There is also Parcheggio Il Duomo (Via del Nuovo Asilo) for the centre. Two other car parks, San Francesco and Santa Caterina/Fontebranda, have escalators going into the centre. For full parking information, see www.sienaparcheggi.com

  • Train, buses and taxis

    Siena isn’t on a major train line so buses are generally a better bet. And the train station is less central than the bus station on Piazza Gramsci. If arriving by train (www.trenitalia.com) from Florence, you often have to change at Empoli. If arriving from Rome, change at Chiusi. Frequent buses connect Siena and Florence (1¼ hours, T: 0577 204111, www.tiemmespa.it) as well as San Gimignano, Montalcino and Montepulciano.  Only use public transport if visiting Florence or the lovely hill-towns and wine estates around Siena. The main taxi rank is on Piazza Matteotti. Tipping is not expected.

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