I visited Siena on a radiant day from Florence. Although a few hours is not enough to see this gorgeous Tuscan town, I wanted to visit anyway.
A hill town known globally for its Palio- a horse race that happens twice every year on July 2 & Aug 16, Siena also prides itself in its medieval walls and stunning squares.
The town has been Florence’s rival since the Middle Ages because of several territorial and economic conflicts not to forget that it houses wondrous works of art just like Florence. Apart from that, Siena is also a photographer’s dream with its old styled architecture and narrow alleys, oh so romantic!
My Tuscan excursion to Siena was mostly walking around the town which is the best to get a sense of place. I wanted to just hang around the two popular landmarks- the Piazza del Campo with its Torre del Mangia (Mangia Tower) and the Piazza del Duomo with the Duomo di Siena (Cathedral of Siena).
Man I was stunned. It was a breathtaking sight!
The campo is huge and shell shaped, lined with several famous caffes, an old marbled fountain and the Civic Museum.
When in Siena have a quick bite of panforte- a hard nutty Italian dessert which is a speciality of the town.
Later I took an uphill walk to see the Duomo of Siena. Only a short climb from the Campo is the Duomo and the uphill isn’t that bad either with shops selling leather bags, stationary, truffle oil and fresh pasta. The Piazza del Duomo is massive and extremely impressive!
With marble columns carved by Giovanni Pisano, it is something not to be missed. The interior is equally stunning.
In my humble opinion, Siena’s Duomo gives Florence’s Duomo a run for its money 😉 This should in no way get controversial as I love them both. Oh wait, there is also the Duomo of Orvieto.. See how hard this keeps getting??
After spending some time at the Duomo, I headed back to the Campo. Did I tell you the Campo is the best place to catch a drink and watch the world go by? Something I mastered on my travels to Italy.
Thank you, Siena for your ancient beauty. I know there is a lot left to experienc, much of which I have left many for my next visit, whenever that is. The Piccolomini library is certainly on the cards for the next time as is the climb to the gothic tower of Palazzo Pubblicco.
Ci Vediamo 🙂
Some things to remember:
Siena’s train station is at the foot of the hill so the best way to reach the town is by bus from Florence. If you are traveling from Rome or Venice, it is advisable to take a train.
The Siena duomo entry costs EUR12 with the Cathedral, Piccolomini library, Bapistery and crypt. Thank me later!