What to visit in one day in Siena?
Siena or Sena, in Italian, is one of the most loved and visited cities in Tuscany, a place rich in history and art, but also with strong traditions, mainly in relation to the neighborhoods and subdivisions (called contrade – “disctricts”) and the famous Palio of Siena . What to visit in a day in Siena? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Ana Patricia in Siena
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A day in Siena is really not enough to experience the city and its tones as a whole, much less to visit its many treasures. Anyway, with a little organization, you can certainly see Siena’s attractions and admire the city’s charm and climate. Be sure to read “Ten cities to visit in Italy“.
Siena is certainly one of the most fascinating routes in our country. Considering that we only have one day available, we will follow the fastest route, which goes directly into the soul of Sena, to fully understand this atmosphere that the city exudes and to see the most important monuments.
Located in the center of Tuscany, you can easily access it from other cities in the region by car, bus and train (the latter is the most convenient method). Read our Post “How to get to Siena from Rome?” The city of Siena is divided into regions called “Terzis”, and the Piazza del Campo (“Field Square”) is the meeting point of the three hills, the ground zero of the city. Our one-day itinerary will depart from the very heart of Siena, that is, Piazza del Campo.
1) What to visit in one day in Siena? PIAZZA DEL CAMPO (“FIELD SQUARE”)
The city continues today to maintain its medieval flavor through its alleys and the reddish color of its buildings. Taking one of the city gates, it is easy to access Piazza del Campo, symbol of the city, with the typical shell shape, where are the Public Palace (seat of government) and the Torre del Mangia (“Tower of the Eater”). This square is known specifically because it is there that the Palio delle Contrade (“Palio of the Districts”) takes place twice a year, the historic horse competition in which the seventeen neighborhoods that make up the city clash.
You can’t miss the Civic Museum, located inside the Public Palace, where you can admire Senese works of art. Through the Museum it is possible to access the 87-meter- high Torre del Mangia (Mangia Tower), built with clay bricks by the Rinaldo brothers (from the top of its 400 steps, it is possible to admire a wonderful view of the city). The name of the tower comes from the first bell-ringer of the belfry: Giovanni di Duccio, known as “Mangia”, and was in charge of beating the hours in the year 1347
Watch this video made using a drone with incredible images of Siena
2) What to visit in one day in Siena? SIENA CATHEDRAL
From Piazza del Campo we can easily get to the other attractions of the city, such as the Cathedral of Siena and its Baptistery, in a romantic-Gothic style, which surprises with its grandeur and its special facade in white marble with decorations in serpentinite green marble.
The Inner Part of the Church
Entering the church, you can admire the famous stained marble floor and the richness of the statues. Inside the Cathedral we also find the famous Piccolomini Library, a true treasure of works of art, it houses four sculptures by Michelangelo Buonarroti, the fresco by Pinturicchio and on the altar there is also the painting “Our Lady and the Child Jesus”, by Jacopo della Quercia.
One of the most impressive works of the Cathedral is the floor, consisting of 56 plates with scenes carved and carved in marble. The most valuable mosaics are covered for most of the year, to preserve from wear and tear; but if you are in Siena during the Palio, between August and October, you will be able to see the floor completely uncovered.
3) What to visit in a day in Siena? BASILICA OF SAINT DOMINIC
Nor can you miss the Basilica of Saint Dominic, with an austere and solid aspect, it keeps the relic of the head of Saint Catherine of Siena. Then, walking through the narrow paved streets, it is easy to be seduced by the charming historic buildings, such as the Piccolomini Palace, the Loggia della Mercanzia (“Merchandise Loggia”) and the Salimbeni Palace.
At this time, we will stop at the “Pasticceria Nannini Conca d’Oro”, on via Banchi di Sopra, this former confectionary has been spoiling customers with its delicacies for over a hundred years, with Senese specialties such as panpepato, ricciarelli, cantuccini and brigidini; and to accompany, a cappuccino or a good glass of vin santo. Be sure to read our section of useful information about Food in Italy.
4) What to visit in a day in Siena? BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS
After the pause, we return to our walk towards the Basilica of Saint Francis, which occupies the first place among the monuments of Siena, mainly for its magnificence (the result of the extensions in Gothic style on the initial Romanesque structure). The facade that we see today, in neo-Gothic style, is from the 19th century and replaced the original front, which was made of white and green marble with a rose window. These items are now found inside the church, which features a special structure in the shape of an Egyptian cross.
5) What to visit in a day in Siena? THE STREETS OF SIENA
Take some time to stroll through the city streets, look at the shop windows and immerse yourself in the colors and coats of arms of the countless neighborhoods (displayed on the windows and doors of the houses). The terracotta color of Siena dominates the roofs and walls making the landscape charming and harmonious. At the end of the tour, after so many climbs and descents, the best thing to do is sit in Piazza del Campo to admire the Gaia Fountain (the beautiful fountain at the top of the shell) and the elegant facades of the mansions around the square, observe the coming and going of people and calmly savor all its beauty.
It is now impossible not to stop by the handicraft shops, emporiums and cellars; where it is possible to find local wines, cold cuts and typical cheeses (mainly Tuscan pecorino and prosciutto). At this time, we can enjoy dinner in one of the countless restaurants on the side streets of the historic center, thus concluding our day tour in Siena in great style.
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What to visit in one day in Siena? Tuscany is certainly one of the most loved and appreciated Italian regions by tourists from all over the world, and the city of Siena represents, of course, its perfection. Siena is beautiful in all seasons, many people go in summer, during holidays, but also in early autumn, when the days are still warm and pleasant – making the visit even more pleasant. In general, the city of Palio is an unmissable stop when traveling through Tuscany.
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