Check out the top attractions and all the unmissable experiences
Siena deserves to be visited thoroughly because every corner is full of gastronomic, cultural and artistic wonders. The old medieval centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the hub of city life. Here you can find arts and crafts workshops, local products and unique architectural wonders.
But what are the places and experiences that make Siena famous?
One of the symbols of Siena is, of course, the Palio, the famous horse race between the ten participating neighbourhoods to win the Palio, a banner painted by a different artist each time chosen by the City of Siena.
The race is held on two dates, 2 July and 16 August, in the famous Piazza del Campo square where the symbol of the city stands: the Torre del Mangia tower.
Next to the tower is Palazzo Pubblico, which houses the Civic Museum where you can admire one of the most famous works in the world: the Allegories of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
But you cannot leave Siena without climbing the striking 400 steep steps to the top of the Torre del Mangia tower and admiring the famous shell shape of the square from above. The view from the city’s red rooftops is bound to leave you speechless.
Siena Cathedral is another artistic treasure chest that is definitely worth visiting. The building is famous for its marble floor and inside you can admire works of infinite artistic beauty by the great masters Nicola Pisano and Michelangelo.
Don’t miss the experience of climbing the Facciatone (the part of the cathedral that remained unfinished during the 14th-century renovation works). This point is highly suggestive because of the spectacular view of the Torre del Mangia.
In the same square, you should visit the Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex, which is one of Europe’s oldest hospitals and now one of Siena’s most important museums. Inside are numerous paths tracing the history of the city.
Finally, the Pinacoteca Nazionale arte gallery is one of Italy’s most important museums for its collection of paintings by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Piero and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Sodoma, Beccafumi and many others.
But Siena doesn’t stop at what we see because underground hides a city. We are talking about the ‘bottini’ of Siena, a labyrinth of 2 5km of tunnels that make up an underground aqueduct system. It’s from these ancient aqueducts that Siena’s historic springs are still fed today.
Visiting this system is a very special experience for those who like to try something different, but it’s not recommended for anyone with claustrophobia.
Meanwhile, among the events that make Siena famous is the Strade Bianche, a cycling race through Siena and the surrounding countryside every year. Those who love good wine should not miss Wine&Siena, the wine event that celebrates wine excellence by awarding ‘The WineHunter Award’.
But visiting Siena also means getting lost in its narrow streets and alleyways, strolling past old workshops and stopping to admire one of the iconic neighbourhood fountains.
Do you want to try new routes and find out more about Siena? Discover what to visit in Siena!