Siena is just one of the stunning cities you can visit in Tuscany, and there are plenty of reasons you should make it your next holiday destination. There is so much to quench the thirst of those who love good food, inspiring art and fascinating history. This magical city also cradles its own historic centre, which has been declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site, and boasts being one of the nations most visited tourist attractions. There is a lot to cover in 24 hours, and while this time doesn’t do the city justice, here is our guide to enjoying Siena in a day.
AM – Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral)
Your first stop has to be the beautiful Duomo di Siena. This incredible Cathedral is regarded as one of the finest Romanesque gothic churches in the entirety of Italy. While the building itself is worth the visit, it also has so much more to offer. Inside is adorned with exquisite works of art from some of the most famous creators of our time. You will find pieces from Donatello, Pisano, and not forgetting, Michelangelo. Wander through this remarkable cathedral at your own pace or invest in a guided tour which will envelop you in the history and cultural relevance of this magnificent building.
PM – Piazza del Campo
This iconic square has everything to set you up in Sienna for the afternoon, including the outstanding view it offers. Piazza del Campo is crowned as one of Italy’s grandest squares, offering some fantastic places to have a bite to eat or a delicious craft beer. It is also the very same spot where the historical centre of Sienna sits, an embodiment of a medieval city which is said to be a testimony to human expression and creativity.
The Torre del Mangia also stands proud as the bell tower in the centre of Siena, adjacent to the town hall, and there is also the option to tour up the tower and experience breathtaking panoramic views of the city and beyond.
AM- Siena Palazzo Pubblico
The seat of the government of Siena is a beautiful town hall comprised of Gothic Secular architecture which is magnificent to see of its own accord. Within the city hall on the first floor is also a museum dedicated to Siena, Museo Civico, showcasing incredible fresco artworks from some of the most world-renowned names such as Spinello Aretino and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Ambrogio Lorenzetti created a masterpiece allegory based on the Good and Bad of the Government, a tribute to life in the 14th century. This incredible piece of art demonstrates the 14th century through scenes of daily life and stunning pictures of the countryside. Part of this work also has a symbolic representation of peace in the form of a woman in a pure white robe and was then chosen by UNESCO as its international symbol of peace.
PM – Complesso Museale di Santa Maria della Scala
For the afternoon, before you settle on having a delicious dinner, take a look around this remarkable building which was originally built as a hospice for Pilgrims that were travelling via Francigena in the 13th century.
Upstairs you can find the Pellegrinaio, also known as the Pilgrim’s hall, which is decorated with intricate, mesmerising frescoes created by Lorenzo di Pietro, Demenico di Bartolo and Priamo della Quercia. These frescos all tell a story of the wonderful work that was carried out in this building by the hospital and its patrons; perhaps most notable is di Bartolo Il governo degli infermi (caring for the sick) which was somewhat of an accurate representation of what happened underneath this roof.
Enjoy a delicious glass of wine and soak up everything you’ve seen for the day while overlooking this magnificent square.
For those who are lucky enough to spend a whole week in Siena, read our Seven Day Guide!
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