Siena Tourist Information

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 Town information

 

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 famous artists....  more >>
     

  • Museum Opera del Duomo of Siena
    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 Giovanni
    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 brick houses.
    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  more... >>
     

  • The Basilica of S. Francesco  was started in 1326 and completed in 1475  more... >>

  •  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 century crucifix.

  •  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 .....more >>
     

  • Palazzo Piccolomini
    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, 

Siena  Events and feasts

"Siena's Palio"  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. About 80 exhibitors participate.

Weekly Market: Wednesday morning next the Medici's fortress.

Siena Internet Cafs : Via Cecco Angiolieri 51 ; Via del Paradiso 8;  Via Pantaneto 54; Via di Citta' 121.

 Getting there

 
By Train
:  The closest railway station is SIENA train station Train schedules

By Air: International flights to Rome, Pisa, Florence o Milan



 

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