This self - guided itineray with background information and walking maps will take you to Siena's artistic and architectural highlights, with a special eye on gourmet stops and foodie delights.
What you'll be able to see, learn and taste in a day:
- Piazza del Campo, best town 'square' ever
- Siena's cathedral and the Libreria Piccolomini
- Piazza Salimbeni, HQ of the world's oldest bank
- Siena's Palazzo Pubblico and its early Renaissance paintings
- Meet Duccio’s Maestà: the masterpiece of Siena's history making painter
- See Siena from the top: bird’s-eye view onto Siena and the beautiful Tuscan hills from the Opera del Duomo Museum (great photo op)
- Introduction to the Palio, Siena's famous bareback horserace
- Siena for foodies: coffee, wine and sweet and savoury Tuscan delicacies
Siena is often called a gothic dream and once you start walking around the car-free medieval center of the city you may in fact wonder whether you've entered a time machine. The perfectly kept architectural outline from the Middle Ages is the city's fortune today. During our tour you'll be learning why the city was able to keep its medieval look, or rather why Siena’s development came to a sudden halt in the early Renaissance.
But it doesn’t just come down to art and architecture, as you haven't seen Siena as long as you haven't tasted the area's specialities like its famous salami, prosciutto and red wines (from Chianti Classico to Brunello di Montalcino), which are produced in the beautiful surrounding hills. Luckily for vegetarians, there’s more than meat. You'll be able to taste yourself through Tuscany's fantastic Pecorino cheeses, extra virgin olive oils and Siena’s famous sweet ‘n spicy cakes and almond cookies. Siena has to be explored on foot, so at least you'll be able to work off those calories right away.
You have an extra day or two in Siena? Climb Torre del Mangia, explore Siena's backstreets, visit the underground maze of the Santa Maria della Scala museum or admire more Renaissance masters in the Pinacoteca Nazionale. You'll also be able to learn about Saint Catherine of Siena and about the city's synagogue in the old ghetto. And last but not least - more food shopping and wine tasting!
Still not enough? You may have to do as I did. Pack your bags and move out here.