Siena is brimming with art, culture and a great traditional cuisine. It is a city where the charm of history never sleeps wich makes you feel like you are strolling through a big open air museum. When strolling through the old city center of Sina, you rather feel like in a huge open-air museum than an actual city because, well, this is Italy before the Renaissance magically transported to the modern day.
Since I spent some time in the beautiful city of Siena, I compiled a list of all the things you have to do there.
⇒ Il Palio, Piazza del Campo: Siena is extremely famous for “Il Palio”, a horse race held twice a year on the main square of the city. The second horse race this year takes place on August 16th 2016 – so make sure to visit when you are around Siena.
⇒ Duomo di Siena, Piazza del Duomo: Siena’s cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches you can find in Italy. Its construction started in 1215 and many of the most famous Italian artists contributed to its beauty. Opening hours (March-November) 10:30 am – 7:00 pm. Make sure to visit either in the morning or early evening to avoid long queues!
⇒ Museo Civico, Palazzo Comunale, Piazza del Campo 1: The “Museo Civico” is the most famous museum in Siena. It is richly frescoed by artists of the Siennese school. So you can quite say that the beautiful interior architecture is worth the admission alone. Opening hours: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.
⇒ La Costarella Bar&Gelateria, Via di Citta, 33, 53100, Siena: At the Costarella bar, you won’t just get a great coffee and delicious ice cream, you also have the best view on the “Piazza del Campo”, the main square, from the tiny and yet so beautiful balcony of the Café. The Costarella is the only Café that actually has a balcony on the beautiful Piazza del Campo and since it’s never overcrowded and mostly frequented by locals, you can really enjoy the view and your coffee.
⇒ Liberia Piccolomini, Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena: Off the north aisle of the Duomo Nuovo, you can find the beautiful Liberia Piccolomini. It was built by Pope Pius III to house the books of his uncle who became Pope Pius II. The walls of the library have vividly colored frescos by Bernardino Pintrucchio and the beautiful interior architecture will make you choose between “taking thousands of photos” or just “staring around with your mouth wide opened forever” Consider buying the so called OPA SI pass which grants you entrance to the cathedral, the lovely library, the Museo dell’Opera, Baptistery, Crypt, Oratory of San Bernardino and Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art at the cost of € 12,00.
⇒Osteria Babazouf, Via Pantaneto, 85, 53100, Siena: The Osteria Babazouf is an unconscious restaurant with a yet so brilliant cuisine. The chef himself says that he wants to “communicate with the people through his dishes”…what a tasty way of communication…
⇒ Osteria Le Logge, Via del Porrione, 33, Siena: The menu served in this Osteria change almost every day (depending on season and availability of local products)
⇒ Grotta Santa Caterina da Bagoga, Via della Galluzza 26: In 1973, Pierino Fagani, one of Siena’s most famous Palio jockeys, sacrificed his career to open his own restaurant and has been operating his much-loved restaurant ever since.
⇒Torre del Mangia, Piazza del Campo: To get the best view over Siena, you have to climb the famous Torre del Mangia: It was built in 1338-1348 which makes it the third tallest tower in Siena. Opening hours: 10am – 7pm. Price per ticket (adults): 8 Euros