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Are you trying to get misplaced in a fascinating metropolis in Tuscany, surrounded by vineyards and steeped in historical past?

Then you definately’ll discover there are numerous issues to do in Siena in at some point, which makes it the proper Tuscan day journey from Florence.

colorful buildings on a hilly street with trees in the background
Candy Sienna

The town seamlessly blends historical past, tradition, and breathtaking magnificence, while additionally providing a laid-back really feel you can solely discover within the coronary heart of Tuscany, Italy. 

Siena could also be a metropolis, however it’s sufficiently small to stroll round and see the highlights in simply 24 hours.

We visited for the day from our Tuscan farm keep about half-hour away. The proprietor’s associate is a tour information for town of Sienna, and he or she wrote a listing of the highest issues to do in Sienna for us to comply with. 

street winding through sieena

I used to be stunned at how distinctive and delightful Sienna was – it was a hidden gem of our Italy summer time journey. 

On this information, we’ll be sharing how one can spend at some point in Siena, by incorporating the unforgettable points of interest, unmissable moments, and the best way to conveniently get there and again from Florence.

Helpful Reserving Guidelines:

Excursions of Siena, Tuscany

The place to remain in Siena, Tuscany

Why Go to Siena, Tuscany?

clothes stall on Piazza del Campo
Piazza del Campo

For anybody trying to discover the quaint area of Tuscany, then you definately’ll wish to make a journey to Siena. This charming and culturally wealthy city is famend for its beautiful medieval structure and well-preserved historic middle, which additionally occurs to be a UNESCO World Heritage Web site.

After taking only a quick drive exterior of Florence, you’ll be transported right into a fairytale city with winding slim streets, stunning squares, and a laid-back ambiance.

I used to be surprised at how stunning this metropolis was – one of the spectacular medieval cities I’ve been to. 

view of basilica in sienna over rooftops

Siena can also be a haven for meals lovers. You possibly can bask in conventional Tuscan delicacies, reminiscent of hearty ribollita soup, succulenta bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine steak), and delectable Pecorino cheese. 

Panforte, a dense unleavened fruit cake, originated in Siena and is fantastic with a chunk of pecorino cheese and a glass of prosecco.

You possibly can pair your meal with a glass of Chianti wine for a really genuine culinary expertise (in spite of everything, that is the Chianti Area!).

Visiting Siena permits you to immerse your self in its historical past, admire its architectural wonders, savor scrumptious meals and wine, and witness the distinctive, quiet ambiance of the Tuscan countryside. 

It’s a vacation spot that mixes magnificence, tradition, and a real style of Tuscany.

How one can Get to Siena?

Church and medieval buildings on a hill in siena
Metropolis on a hill

Relating to attending to Siena, there are a number of transportation choices out there, however one of the best ways is to rent a automobile and drive. 

From Florence it’s a 1-hour drive alongside one freeway. It’s additionally only one hour 45 minutes from Pisa by automobile. And it solely took us half-hour from Tenuta Di Mensanello. 

Sienna is a metropolis on prime of a hill, so streets are steep and slim. It’s finest to not drive up into town middle to park, however slightly below town on the backside of the hill. It may be difficult to search out parking on weekends as a result of weekend markets. Strive parking at Parking St. Caterina on Through Fontebranda. It’s only a quick stroll up the hill from there into town.

kalyra walking up stairs on hill

When you don’t drive, one of the best ways to get there’s by prepare. You possibly can catch a direct prepare from Florence (Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station) which takes 1.5 hours. Some trains require you to alter at Empoli, however most are direct. There are a number of trains working all through the day.

The prepare is a superb choice as you’ll be able to sit again and benefit from the surroundings. Check Omio for prepare occasions and availability and to ebook your tickets. WE foudn them to be very environment friendly when reserving prepare journey in Italy.

You may also discover buses, particularly FlixBus which is a long-distance bus firm that operates throughout Europe. Buses are handy and environment friendly and take simply over an hour with one cease on the way in which.

You may also go to Siena on a day tour from Florence, if you happen to wished to let another person care for all the small print, and have an skilled information present you round. We love the next two tour firms (personally vetted and skilled by us)

Issues to Do in Siena in One Day

Now you know the way to get to Siena, it’s time to share with you how one can spend at some point in Siena! You possibly can see any of those points of interest in any order you want, since Siena is small and walkable.

Duomo of Siena

Mom and two daughters in front of a cathedral
The Duomo of Siena

As that is the perfect factor to do in Siena – and the most effective issues to do in Tuscany – I like to recommend doing this primary so you might have sufficient time. We did it final and didn’t have sufficient time to see all the things. You possibly can simply match the opposite Siena points of interest round this one.

Siena is the Duomo of Siena, which is only a quick stroll from the Piazza del Campos, your subsequent cease.

This magnificent cathedral, formally referred to as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, is an architectural marvel that pulls guests from world wide.

looking up at dome of cathedral

I used to be blown away by how stunning and distinctive this cathedral was. I’ve by no means seen something prefer it earlier than. I loved it greater than the well-known Duomo in Florence.

Whereas the skin of the Florence cathedral is extra spectacular (though comparable in color and style) the within of the Duomo of Siena is far more spectacular and makes the within of Duomo of Florence appear very uninteresting. 

Development of the Duomo started within the twelfth century and continued for a number of centuries, leading to a shocking mix of Romanesque and Gothic kinds. 

The outside of the cathedral is adorned with intricate carvings, sculptures, and vibrant mosaics, showcasing the unbelievable craftsmanship of the period.

Step contained in the Duomo, and also you’ll be greeted by a wide ranging inside, crammed with striped marble columns, intricately designed ground mosaics, and the well-known Piccolomini Library – a beautiful room crammed with stunning frescoes by Pinturicchio. 

Don’t miss the prospect to ascend the Facciatone, a panoramic terrace that gives sweeping views of Siena’s rooftops.

The Siena Duomo complicated contains the Crypt, the Baptistery, Piccolomini Library, the Museo dell’Opera, the Oratory, and the Facciatone Viewpoint.

altar with paintings behind it
fescoes on walls and ceiling of the Piccolomini Library,
Piccolomini Library
statues and stained glass window
Museo dell’Opera
person looking at the colorful frescoes on the crypt walls
The Crypt

We missed the Facciatone viewpoint because it’s small so there was a few 30-minute wait, and we didn’t have sufficient time.

All of the completely different elements of this large cathedral had been extraordinary and value seeing.

Whilst you could also be tempted to lookup contained in the Duomo, don’t overlook to look down on the marble ground, which is a creative masterpiece in its personal proper, consisting of over 50 distinctive panels depicting biblical scenes, allegories, and mythological figures.

Italian Renaissance painter, Giorgio Vasari referred to as it essentially the most stunning, largest and most luxurious ground that was ever made”.

We determined on the final minute to go to Siena AND selected to see the Duomo final. That meant we weren’t ready with pre-booked tickets, or the data I’m sharing with you. 

It was straightforward sufficient to get tickets contained in the duomo and there was no line (though I’ve heard it may be very lengthy particularly within the morning.) BUT we did want a timed entry ticket to climb as much as the rooftops. Sadly, the one time out there was later within the afternoon and the tour was 90 minutes. We needed to get back to our agritourismo for a cooking class so couldn’t spare the time.

I used to be so dissatisfied to overlook this expertise touring the Porta del Cielo – the cathedral rooftops, which is supposed to be spectacular. This actually was my favourite church in Europe – simply surpassing the Vatican.

caz and girls outside cathedral of sienna

The Cathedral of Siena, it’s a nice instance of the Italian’s love of extravagant artwork and inside design and effectively well worth the ticket worth.

The Opa Si Pass is the ticket class you need, which provides you entry to the Crypt, the Baptistery, Piccolomini Library, the Museo dell’Opera, the Oratory, and the Facciatone Viewpoint.

Tours to the Porta del Cielo are extra and booked separately – be sure you have the time to do it.

Piazza del Campos

person walking across Piazza del Campo
Piazza del Campo

Nestled inside the coronary heart of Siena, lies the most well-liked attraction within the metropolis, bursting with historic allure and a charming attract – Piazza del Campo. 

This celebrated medieval sq. is a must-visit for anybody planning to spend a day in Siena.

Constructed on the convergence of three historic hilltop cities, Piazza del Campo serves because the central gathering place for locals and vacationers alike.

caz and girls walking past restaurants on Piazza del Campo
Piazza del Campo eating places

Historical past comes alive as you wander by this enchanting sq., because it’s surrounded by late Gothic buildings and palaces. As soon as the residences of highly effective households, they now home bustling eating places, cafes, and outlets, including vibrancy to the world and serving as the last word place for individuals watching.

Piazza del Campo can also be famend for internet hosting the Palio di Siena, an exhilarating horse race held twice a yr. Witnessing this historic custom unfold amidst the fervor and pleasure of the crowds is an expertise like no different.

Torre del Mangia

view of Torre del Mangia through hole in courtyard
Torre del Mangia

Standing tall at 87 meters excessive within the coronary heart of Siena’s Piazza del Campo, the Torre del Mangia is an impressive 14th century tower that’s finest identified for internet hosting beautiful views of Tuscany.

Inbuilt 1325, the Torre del Mangia, also called the “Tower of the Eater,” is a marvel of architectural craftsmanship. It’s mentioned its title comes from certainly one of its former bell-ringers, who had a popularity for being an extravagant eater.

Guests can climb up 400 winding steps to achieve the highest, the place they are going to be rewarded with  mesmerizing vistas over Siena and the countryside past.

From Piazza del Campo you’ll be able to stroll right into a floor ground of The Palazzo Pubblico right into a small courtyard. Search for by the open roof for an excellent view of the tower. 

Palazzo Pubblico

view of The Palazzo Pubblico  and tower on campos
The Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia on the Piazza del Campo

One other landmark to not miss within the Piazza del Campos is the Palazzo Pubblico, which stands as a testomony to town’s wealthy historical past and inventive legacy. This grand palace, also called the City Corridor, is a superb instance of Siena’s gothic structure and incorporates among the most unbelievable fresco work.

It was constructed between 1297 and 1310, this iconic landmark was as soon as the residence of Signoria and Podesta, in addition to the home of the Authorities of the 9 of the Republic of Siena. 

You possibly can discover the inside of the palace which is crammed with fascinating rooms and paintings. Make sure to try the Salone del Mappamondo, a grand corridor adorned with the magnificent Maestà fresco by Simone Martini. 

You also needs to try the beautiful Sala dei Nove, or Corridor of the 9, which served as a gathering place for town’s governing council.

A go to to the palace permits you to study concerning the political and cultural historical past of Siena in addition to soak within the inventive ambiance of the place. 

Basilica Cateriniana of San Domenico

caz taking ohotos of basilica st catherine on the hille

This basilica church, also called the Basilica of San Domenico, holds immense significance within the metropolis’s spiritual and cultural material.

It was constructed between 1226–1265, and renovated once more within the 14th century. Its exterior facade is of a Gothic fashion, whereas the within homes a large number of necessary frescoes and relics. 

One of many highlights of a go to to the Basilica Cateriniana is the prospect to see the ornate reliquary that homes the dismembered, mummified head of Saint Catherine of Siena, a revered determine in Catholicism.

I used to be fairly stunned at how little St Catherine’s head was. It was the scale of a small baby. Apparently, her thumb is in right here as effectively, however we couldn’t discover that. 

I couldn’t take footage of her head, however I might of the carved heads on this cool door exterior the church!

If this sounds a little bit morbid to you, then you definately’ll discover the intricate frescoes and non secular ambiance extra pleasing.

It’s forbidden to take images inside.

As we parked close to to this basilica, we visited this primary earlier than strolling into the primary a part of town.

Wander the Streets

caroline walking down narrow street with high walls

Wandering the charming streets of Siena is an expertise in itself. The town is brimming with architectural wonders and a charming ambiance that pulls you in from each road.

Siena’s streets are a treasure trove ready to be explored. You’ll discover slim, steep alleyways, hidden corners, picturesque squares, and charming boutique outlets that exude a fascinating medieval ambiance. 

The streets of Siena are usually not simply pathways lined with outlets and cafes; they’re a gateway to town’s cultural heritage. Maintain your eyes open for the sleek marble reliefs adorning the historic buildings and cease by a gelato store to indulge within the culinary delights that outline the cities in Tuscany.

You possibly can stroll behind Piazza del Campos for an exquisite view out to the countryside. 

Concentrate as you might be strolling as much as town from the car parking zone as effectively, because the views of town and Duomo are fairly fairly. 

Greatest Espresso and Gelato in Siena

man holding cup of gelato
The perfect you will get!

Tuscany is the house of gelato, having originated in Florence. It’s completely acceptable to have gelato day-after-day whereas in Italy, and the artisanal scoops discovered at La Vecchia Latteria won’t allow you to down.

It was the second finest gelato I had in Italy – the perfect was in Florence. I had hazelnut and chocolate chip! 

Our agriturismo hosts really useful this as the perfect gelato, so it is a native tip for you! 

She additionally really useful cafe Fiorella as the perfect espresso in Siena, seconded by her sommelier!

two cappuccinos on table

Caffè Fiorella siena is a tiny gap within the wall cafe situated on the outskirts of Piazza del Campos. There are just a few areas for seating, that is your typical Italian order and drink on the bar. 

SErvice is swift and environment friendly to cater to the ever evolving native crowd transferring by right here. I used to be fairly fascinated watching as I drank my cappuccino and doubtless offended everybody within the cafe, because the Italian Means isn’t any milk after 11am! 

Throughout from here’s a native chocolate store if you happen to (or the children) wish to sneak in for a tasty deal with. 

Closing Ideas

caz and savannah sitting in doorway eating gelato

Siena is a metropolis with a timeless attract that merely captivates any traveler right here. Its small measurement means it’s straightforward to discover on foot, and you’ll simply see the highlights in a single thrilling day right here. 

What I cherished about our day in Siena, is that it was fairly enjoyable compared to the attraction packed cities of Florence and Rome.

We might calm down extra and simply take pleasure in an ambling tempo with sufficient time for us to have a lingering breakfast at our farm keep and a day cooking class. It was a day effectively lived and the sort of journey days you dream of.

We hope this information helped you intend your one-day journey to Siena and gave you some inspiration for what to do. When you discovered it useful, please share it with your folks and in your social channels!

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