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  • Welcome to Siena, where medieval charm and Tuscan beauty converge. Famous for its stunning architecture, including the iconic Piazza del Campo and towering Siena Cathedral, this city invites you to wander its historic streets, savour local cuisine, and experience the vibrant culture of its Contrade neighbourhoods. Join us as we share our top tips for visiting Siena.

  • Things to do

    Siena, a gem in the heart of Tuscany, offers a rich tapestry of experiences for visitors. Renowned for its stunning medieval architecture, the city's focal point is the Piazza del Campo, where the famous Palio di Siena horse race takes place twice a year. Art lovers can explore the Siena Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece, and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, home to exceptional artworks. Food enthusiasts can indulge in local treats like pici pasta and Ricciarelli biscuits, while Siena's charming streets invite leisurely strolls, revealing hidden treasures.

  • Il Campo

    The Il Campo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of Italy's most remarkable piazzas in the heart of Siena. Its unique shell-shaped design has been a neutral ground for civic events since medieval times. The square, paved with red brick, is divided into nine sections, each representing one of the nine governors who held power during the "Government of the Nine". Surrounded by stunning medieval architecture, including Il Palazzo Pubblico, La Torre del Mangia, Il Museo Civico and the Fonte Gaia, the square draws thousands of tourists all year round.

    Learn more about each of these architectural marvels below.

  • Il Palazzo Pubblico and Il Museo Civico

    Il Palazzo Pubblico in Siena is the most prominent historic building in Il Campo. This iconic Gothic structure, dating back to the late 13th century, was built as the official seat of the Government of Nine, which, today, still serves as the town hall of Siena and is a testament to the city's rich medieval heritage.  

    Visitors can enter the Palazzo to explore the Museo Civico to explore the stunning frescoes, including the famous "Allegory of Good and Bad Government" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

  • La Torre del Mangia

    The civic tower of the Palazzo Pubblico is La Torre del Mangia, built 102m high, making it the third tallest historic tower in Italy. The tower, built between 1338 and 1348, is made from red brick and white travertine used on the top of the sculpture. The tower takes its name from its first bell ringer, Giovanni di Balduccio, who was famous for wasting his money receiving the nickname Mangiaguadagni (Earnings Eater), often abbreviated to ‘Mangia’. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower if they are brave enough to take the 300 steps to the top. But the climb is worth it, offering breathtaking views of the picturesque Tuscan landscape.

  • Fonte Gaia

    Opposite the Palazzo Pubblico is the Fonte Gaia, built-in 1419 by Jacopo della Quercia in the same spot an existing spring in 1346 stood. The fountain, decorated with a series of sculptures, is inspired by traditional medieval Sienese public fountains. The front pillars depict two female statues representing Acca Larenzia and Rea Silvia, while the longer side shows the Madonna and Child surrounded by allegories of the Virtues. By the mid-19th century, the fountain was in poor condition, leading to its replacement, completed in 1869, which is the one that stands today. Visitors can still see the original fountain's remains in the Santa Maria della Scala.

  • Il Duomo di Siena

    The Siena Cathedral, known as the Duomo di Siena, is a renowned example of Romanesque and Gothic architecture in Italy. Consecrated in 1179 with the presence of Sienese Pope Alexander III Bandinelli, its construction spanned two centuries. Designed by Giovanni Pisano, the facade features intricate white, green, and red marble. Inside, visitors can admire frescoes, sculptures, and stained-glass windows by medieval and Renaissance artists. The cathedral's marble floor, unveiled for a few weeks each year, is a highlight. It stands as a must-see for those exploring Tuscany's rich cultural heritage.

  • Panorama and New Cathedral

    The extension of the Duomo di Siena was approved in 1339 and initially led by Lando di Pietro until his death in 1340. Giovanni d'Agostino, another Sienese sculptor, continued the work until 1348. Construction slowed and was ultimately abandoned in 1357, with unstable sections demolished. Today, visitors can explore the 'Unfinished Facade', side walls, and north aisle, a popular attraction offering panoramic views of Siena from its 131-step climb.

  • Museo dell’Opera

    Within the 'New Cathedral' lies the Museo dell'Opera, among Italy's oldest private museums since its establishment in 1869. Spanning three floors across the first three bays of the south aisles, the museum features diverse exhibits. The ground floor showcases 14th-century Sienese statuary and expansive stained-glass windows. On the first floor, visitors encounter the acclaimed Maestà altarpiece by Duccio di Buoninsegna, safeguarded in a climate-controlled chamber, alongside a treasury boasting over two hundred artefacts. Lastly, the top floor houses three rooms dedicated to paintings, including a specialised tapestry area.

  • Baptistry

    The Baptistery of San Giovanni, nestled beside Siena's Cathedral, showcases exquisite Gothic architecture and houses stunning frescoes and a detailed baptismal font. Inside, you'll discover works by renowned Renaissance artists like Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, and Jacopo della Quercia.

    To enhance your visit, consider arriving early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and enjoy a peaceful experience. A combined ticket granting access to the Cathedral, Baptistery, and Museo dell'Opera ensures a comprehensive exploration of Siena's artistic heritage. Don't miss the beautifully decorated ceiling and take time to appreciate the intricate craftsmanship that defines this extraordinary site.

  • Santa Maria della Scala

    Santa Maria della Scala, across from the Cathedral, is a historic complex with origins dating back to the 9th century. Initially a hospital, orphanage, and refuge for pilgrims, it has evolved into a museum highlighting Siena's cultural and artistic journey.

    Visitors can explore a diverse collection featuring frescoes by Lorenzetti and Martini, alongside archaeological discoveries and religious artefacts. The Pellegrinaio Hall is a standout, adorned with vibrant frescoes portraying acts of charity and compassion. Beyond its cultural significance, Santa Maria della Scala offers a profound insight into Siena's humanitarian legacy, attracting history enthusiasts and art lovers alike.

  • Contrade tour – city neighbourhoods

    The Contrade of Siena are integral to the city's identity, each representing a distinct district with its own emblem, church, and museum. These lively neighbourhoods come alive during the build-up to the Palio, a renowned biannual horse race in the Piazza del Campo. Early mornings are particularly special as the Contrade prepare with public practice sessions, offering insight into their dedication and passion for this historic event. Some Contrade open their churches and museums, offering visitors an intimate view of their rich traditions, treasures, and deep community spirit.

  • Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena

    The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena, housed in the Palazzo Buonsignori, is a treasury of Sienese and Tuscan art from the 12th to the 17th centuries. This prestigious gallery features masterpieces by renowned artists including Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, and Pietro Lorenzetti, illustrating the evolution from Byzantine icons to vibrant Renaissance works. Its curated exhibits offer a captivating journey through Siena's artistic legacy, showcasing iconic pieces like Duccio's Maestà and Martini's Annunciation.

  • Basilica San Francesco

    The Basilica of San Francesco in Siena, a Gothic masterpiece from the 13th century, embodies both religious devotion and architectural brilliance. Adjacent to it stands the ancient convent, now home to the University of Siena, enriching its historical significance. Inside, visitors can marvel at artistic treasures, including exquisite frescoes by renowned Sienese painters like Pietro Lorenzetti, depicting Saint Francis of Assisi's life vividly. The basilica's tranquil cloisters and serene interior provide a peaceful retreat amidst Siena's bustling streets, offering a space for contemplation of its spiritual and cultural importance.

  • Eating and Drinking

    Siena offers a unique blend of culinary delights and vibrant social experiences. Begin your food journey on Via Pantaneto, a lively street lined with cozy bars and trattorias serving a variety of Tuscan dishes. In the city centre, Piazza del Campo invites you to relax at its bars, ideal for unwinding or enjoying the lively atmosphere without reservations. The Fortezza Medicea hosts frequent events and festivals for those craving a dynamic setting within Siena's historic fortress. Embrace the city's rich traditions at the Contrade's spirited celebrations, where each weekend offers a chance to join in their festive gatherings and immerse yourself in community life.

  • Below we share some of our favourite restaurants, taverns and bars in Siena.

    La Taverna di San Giuseppe
    Address: Via Giovanni Duprè, 132, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
    Tel: +39 0577 42286

    Osteria La Sosta di Violante
    Address: Via Pantaneto, 115, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
    Tel: +39 0577 43774

    Osteria Le Logge
    Address: Via del Porrione, 33, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
    Tel: +39 0577 48013

    Mugolone Ristorante
    Address: Via dei Pellegrini, 8/12, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
    Tel: +39 0577 283235

    Piripi Pizza Urban Food
    Address: Via dei Rossi, 69-71-73/69-71-73, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
    Tel: +39 333 605 6345

    Antico Osteria Da Divo
    Address: Via Franciosa 25/29 Siena – ITALY
    Tel: +39 0577 284381/286054

    Enoteca I Terzi
    Address: Via dei Termini, 7, 53100 Siena SI
    Tel: +39.0577.44329

    Il Bandierino
    Address: Piazza Il Campo 66 53100 Siena
    Tel: +39 0577 275894

    Address: Via Camporegio n.13 53100 Siena (SI)
    Tel: (+39) 0577286811

    La prosciutteria
    Address: Via Pantaneto, 89
    Tel: +39 0577 42026

  • Getting to Siena and getting around

    Getting to and around Siena is as much a part of the adventure as exploring its rich history and cultural treasures. Arriving by train offers a scenic introduction, with Siena's railway station conveniently located just outside the historic city centre. For those driving, navigating the winding roads that lead to this medieval gem rewards with picturesque vistas of the Tuscan countryside. Once in Siena, the city's compact size invites exploration on foot, where every cobblestone street and hidden alleyway reveals a new facet of its charm. Buses provide a convenient option for venturing beyond the city centre to nearby attractions and vineyards, while taxis offer flexibility for reaching specific destinations with ease. Whether by train, car, or on foot, discovering Siena promises an enchanting journey through its ancient streets and timeless beauty.

    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

  • Day trips from Siena

    Day trips from Siena offer a gateway to the diverse and captivating landscapes of Tuscany. Just a short drive away lies the renowned Chianti region, famous for its vineyards producing world-class wines amidst picturesque rolling hills, whilst nearby Arezzo and Castelnuovo Berargenga offer a glimpse into rural Tuscan life showcasing the region's rich history. Each destination promises a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty, ensuring that day trips from Siena are a memorable exploration of the heart of Italy.

  • The Chianti

    A day trip to the Chianti region from Siena offers the quintessential Tuscan experience. Just a short drive through scenic countryside leads to rolling vineyards, olive groves, medieval villages and impressive castles. Whether exploring charming towns like Greve and Gaiole, savouring local cuisine paired with fine wines, or simply soaking in the serene beauty of the Tuscan countryside, a day trip to Chianti promises an authentic and unforgettable taste of Italy's rural charm.

    See our Chianti guide for more information.

  • Arezzo

    A day trip to Arezzo from Siena reveals Tuscany's artistic and cultural heritage. The Piazza Grande, featuring medieval buildings and Piero della Francesca's frescoes in the Basilica of San Francesco, showcases the town's architectural beauty. Strolling through streets lined with artisan shops, cafés, and local markets offers a taste of authentic Tuscan life. Visiting Arezzo is an enriching journey through Italy's cultural treasures.

    See our Arezzo guide for more information.

  • Castelnuovo Berardenga

    A day trip to Castelnuovo Berardenga from Siena invites exploration into the heart of the Chianti Classico wine region. Located just south of Siena, wander through the charming streets lined with centuries-old buildings and visit local wineries to taste the renowned Chianti Classico wines, complete with panoramic views, perfect for leisurely walks and countryside picnics. The blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, along with renowned Chianti Classico wines, provides an authentic Tuscan experience away from the bustling city life of Siena.

    See our Castelnuovo Berardenga guide for more information.

  • Why we love Siena

    Siena captivates us for countless reasons. Everywhere you turn, there's a tale waiting to be uncovered, each building and corner steeped in history and legend. Stepping through its streets feels like a journey back in time, where medieval architecture and ancient traditions paint a vivid picture of bygone eras. Ascend a tower, and you're rewarded with breathtaking panoramas that stretch across rolling Tuscan landscapes, reminding you of the city's timeless beauty. Despite its rich history, Siena remains refreshingly intimate, offering all the cultural richness of larger cities without the overwhelming crowds. It's a place where every cobblestone street whispers stories of its past, inviting you to explore, discover, and fall in love with its enduring charm.

  • Tuscan villas near Siena

    Near the enchanting city of Siena, our selection of villas offers a diverse range of accommodations to suit every traveller's preference. Whether you seek a quaint shared pool apartment or a luxurious private villa with expansive grounds and a personal pool, To Tuscany caters to all tastes and desires. Our villas near Siena provide an ideal base for exploring the city's historic streets, world-class cuisine, and cultural attractions while offering tranquillity and privacy amidst the Tuscan countryside. Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, a family holiday, or a group retreat, our collection ensures you can enjoy the beauty of Siena and its surroundings in comfort and style.

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