I visited Siena on a radiant day from Florence. Although a few hours is not enough to see this gorgeous Tuscan town, it is definitely not worth leaving either.
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.
Its rivalry with Florence since the Middle Ages is probably there even now but I can’t see how both the towns are similar. Maybe the territorial, cultural and economic conflicts of the past made them constantly fought but to me the two can never replaced for the other!
Coming back to my small excursion to Siena… Well I mostly walked around the town to get a sense of place. Its popular landmarks- Piazza del Campo, Torre del Mangia and the Piazza del Duomo were the ones I saw first.
I could easily add Piazza del Campo in my favorite piazza of Italy list. It is breathtaking with its shell shape line of cafes, marbled fountain and Civic Museum. The piazza gives a sense of local as well touristy life. I had a glass of wine and a quick bite of panforte here.
If the piazza was grand, I didn’t even know what the Duomo of Siena had in store for me. It beats many of the Duomos I have seen in my Italian travels. With marble columns carved by Giovanni Pisano, 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…..So you see how hard this keeps getting??
Very impressive and a touristy area but the smell of truffle oil and fresh pasta is divine so you won’t mind! Siena is such a great trip and I know I have yet to experience more of but there is always the next time.
Ci Vediamo presto, Siena! 🙂
Siena’s train station is at the foot of the hill and is a 10-15 minute climb to the main piazza. If you are visiting from Florence, the best way to reach is by bus. There are several local operators in Florence.
The entry to the Duomo of Siena is EUR 12 which includes the Cathedral, Piccolomini library, Bapistery and crypt. Thank me later!