- Location: In the region of Tuscany, located in the north of Italy.
- How to Reach: Most of the travelers arriving by air will land at airports in Florence or Pisa. Siena’s Ampugnano airport is located only 9 kilometers from the city. From the north, trains go directly from Florence to Siena and from the south, direct connections to Siena depart either from Chiusi or from Grosseto. Siena train station is located approximately 2 kilometers from Siena’s historic center, only a 5 minutes’ bus ride from Piazza del Sale. The easiest way to get to Siena from Florence is by bus.
- Nearest International Airport: Peretola Airport in Florence and Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa
- Nearest Railway Station: Siena train station
This is a horserace with a difference. The upholstery with royal heralds on the horses’ back and the armored riders will make you feel as if you are in the middle of a medieval period drama. But imagination ends there, what follows is a fierce race, intensely fought, in the old streets of Siena. Over the years, this unique horse race, the Palio, has been the most endearing attraction of Siena.
The medieval city of Siena in Italy, built around the Piazza del Campo, was developed as a work of art that perfectly blends into the surrounding landscape. The historic center of Siena encircled within the city walls, is famous for its well-preserved medieval streets and piazzas, ancient churches, beautiful museums, colorful festivals, lovely vineyards, and world-class golf courses and more especially for the “Palio”, a medieval horse race.
Key attractions of Siena
Siena is the home to some of the most precious medieval art and architectural treasures. The city offers an endless number of cultural sights and places of interests for travelers:
- Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery): The Baptistery, dating back to the 14th century, is located just behind the cathedral. Its walls are covered with brightly colored frescoes. The main attraction is the baptismal font which is decorated with bronze carvings by famous artists such as Ghiberti and Donatello.
- Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo: The museum features much of the cathedral’s extensive art collection. There are beautiful sculptures, a Byzantine altarpiece and gilded paintings by Duccio di Buoninsegna.
- Il Duomo (The Cathedral): The 12th century Duomo, with its stunning, zebra-striped interior and lavish floor covered in mosaics, houses the Piccolomini Library which is famous for containing vibrant frescoes by Pinturicchio.
- Palazzo Delle Papesse: Built as a palace in the 15th century, it is now a center for changing exhibitions of contemporary art.
- Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia (Public Palace and Mangia Tower): The palazzo has been home to the city authorities since the 13th century. Its finest rooms are open to the visitors and the most famous of them is the Sale Della Pace, with medieval frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. The tower offers majestic views over the city.
- Pinacoteca Nazionale (National Art Gallery): The art gallery, housing gorgeous paintings of the Sienese school which flourished in the 13th century, is one of the must-see sites in Siena.
- Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala (Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala): Dating back to the 11th century, it was a pilgrims’ hostel and later became the main hospital serving until the 1980s. Now it houses precious artworks, an archaeological museum and exhibition space.
What to do
Siena offers numerous sports and recreational activities such as soccer, basketball, tennis, archery, horseback riding, cycling, golf, swimming mountain biking, rock climbing, fitness courses, dance, and yoga.
Siena is an ideal shopping paradise as it not only boasts of several shops selling designer clothing but also full of individual outlets that sell traditional hand-made items like jumpers and hats available at Tessuti a Mano, Via San Pietro.
Where to dine
Siena cuisine is distinguished by cereals, pulses, herbs, game and pork, especially the famous Cinta sense, a wonderful breed of pigs that is bred only in Chianti. Some of the most typical products of this area are cold meats such as soppressata, finocchiona, and capocolli; cheeses such as cacio pecorino and extra virgin olive oil.
Nightlife in Siena is mainly associated with numerous bars, pubs and clubs and in the early evening, most of the city join at those in the Piazza del Campo and along Via Banchi di Sopra.
Where to stay
Depending on your needs and budget, you may select from all types of accommodation in Siena.
Tour to Siena would take you to one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities of Italy in the midst of picturesque surroundings of the scenic Tuscany region.
Related Links :
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=qhpGEyfeuyA&feature=relateda: To experience the excitement, enthusiasm, and fun of the historic horse race or the Palio, watch this video!
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=VM0YqFJrypk: Another great video on the Palio celebrations. Check out all the festivities associated with the race.
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=3glUJBPJlEY&feature=related: For an authentic travel experience through the medieval streets of the peaceful Siena, watch this video! You can also view some of the treasured artworks from the city in this clip.