Siena (54.000 inhabitants) is situated in the very
heart of Tuscany at 70 km. from Florence and 231 km. from Rome along the
Cassia Way. She a lies at 322 metres above sea level on top of three hills
overlooking the Arbia and the Elsa valleys. The uneven level of the ground
affords suggestive views and most interesting perspectives. It is rich in
works of art and monuments. Previously an Etruscan city and Roman
settlement, it has known economic and artistic prosperity during the
Middle-Ages. Siena has been able to conserve its ancient medieval
characteristics integrally: buildings, small squares, narrow streets,
back-streets and best of all, the warm, rich colour of red bricks. The
town is divided into seventeen districts called "Contrade ". Though old, Siena enjoys all modem comforts; she has good hotels and
restaurants and many little inns called "trattorie" where prices are
reasonable. Public offices are efficient and visitors welcome.
Sights to see and things to do
The Cathedral of Siena
Beautiful building with a dark green and white Gothic-Roman facade. It
hosts many works by Donatello, Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio. Some frescoes
by Pinturicchio. The inlaid marble floor is a real masterpiece made by
Museum Opera del Duomo
It is near the Cathedral. On the ground-floor it hosts ten statues by
Pisano and a lot of paintings, jewelry and illuminated manuscripts, which
come from the Cathedral. Many important works by Pisano, Jacopo della
Quercia (Madonna with Child). On the first floor the museum exhibits the
greatest masterpiece of the Sienese school of painting, the famous "Maest",
by Duccio di Buoninsegna.
Battistero di San
On the right side of the Cathedral. It preserves the fifteenth-century
baptismal font by Jacopo della Quercia. It seems that Donatello and
Ghiberti also participated in creating this wonderful work. Rich interior
with many frescos and works of art.
Pinacoteca of Siena, picture gallery
Hosted in Palazzo Buonsignori, not far from the Cathedral, it preserves
many works by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Pietro Lorenzetti, Ambrogio
Lorenzetti, Simone Martini, and many other artists.....more
Piazza del Campo
This is one of the most beautiful piazzas of Italy and perhaps of the
world. It is shaped like a large shell, paved with red bricks and divided
into nine sections. This is the square where Sienese meet, the center of
city life and government. It is dominated by the Tower, built in
1848 and 102 mt high, from which it is possible to admire the panorama of
the entire city, with its towers, gates, narrow streets and red
Twice a year, the famous Palio of Siena
takes place here.
Next, the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall) built between 1297 and
1342, represents an important example of Gothic architecture in Tuscany.
The Palace is well conserved and on the ground-floor it hosts many
frescoes by Sano di Pietro, Vecchietta, Simone Martini, Sodoma. On the
first floor of the Civic Museum many works are preserved including the frescoes "Guidoriccio
da Fogliano" and the "Maestà'", fine masterpieces by Simone Martini. Other
frescoes by Vecchietta (St. Caterina), Sano di Pietro (St. Bernardino) and
Sodoma. In the "Sala della Pace" (Room of Peace) it is possible to admire a
series of frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, representing the allegories of
"Good and Bad Government" more... >>
The Church of S. Domenico
Inside a fresco representing Santa Caterina from Siena, by Andrea Vanni is conserved.
On the right side of the church a chapel with a wonderful marble altar
hosts the head of the Saint. The crypt preserves another fine work, a
golden cross painted by Sano di Pietro....more >>
The Church of S. Agostino
It hosts many works of art, by Vanni and Manetti. In the 15th Century
Bichi chapel many frescoes by G. Martini and Luca Signorelli. The Piccolomini chapel hosts a fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti
Basilica dell'Osservanza - It is considered one of the most important churches in Siena. Several
works of art.
Santa Maria dei Servi:
Inside it has frescos, a 13th century holy water stoup, and a 14th
Museum of Natural History Important exhibit of minerals and rocks. Of note are the samples of
meteorite stones which fell on a village near Siena in 1764.
Piazza Salimbeni and Palazzo Salimbeni
Three important buildings mark the boundary of Piazza Salimbeni, but the
impressive Palazzo Salimbeni emerges with great strength , seat of Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank, the most ancient bank in the world, founded in
1472. Inside the palace there is a rich collection of paintings and works
of art. It is possible to visit it by appointment
Built in 1469, it is the seat of the museum of Tavolette di Biccherna, a
rich collection of miniatures by Sienese artists.
Nearby localities: Castello di Belcaro,
horse race, twice a year - It takes place in the
famous Piazza del Campo.
Feast of San Giuseppe: It takes place from March 19 to the beginning of
April and it is possible to find in Via Dupre', close to Piazza del Campo, some stands offering good
fritters of rice and toys of local production.
Feast of Santa Lucia : This traditional event takes place on December 13,
in "Pian dei Mantellini". There are stands where ceramics,
terra-cotta and ceramic hand-bells painted with the colors of the
districts, are on display.
Antique fair market: On each 3rd Sunday of the month in "Piazza del Mercato" close to the famous Piazza del Campo.
Wednesday morning next the Medici's fortress.
Siena Internet Cafs :
Via Cecco Angiolieri 51 ; Via del Paradiso 8; Via Pantaneto 54; Via di