Unesco world heritage site since 1995, Siena is considered as a unique city. Lying in the Tuscan hills, it still maintains its appearance since Middle Ages. Time in Siena seems to have stopped in the thirteenth century, when the city began to be enriched with an artistic and architectural heritage that has consecrated its glory forever. Let’s discover its treasure together!
Piazza del Campo in Siena
Piazza del Campo in Siena is considered one of the most beautiful squares in the world. It has a characteristic 9-segment shell shape, a detail that can only be admired from the top of the Torre del Mangia. Since 1300, it has been the center of Siena’s life and has served as a market and gathering place for the Sienese citizens during important political moments, parties and jousting. As it still happens twice a year during the famous Palio.
Palazzo Pubblico of Siena
Palazzo Pubblico of Siena is the place par excellence of Siena’s political power. In fact, from the Government of the Nine (which in 1300 made Siena as beautiful as we see it) until today, all the rulers of Siena have resided here.
In the Palazzo, there is the Civic Museum of Siena, with the famous frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti which represent the Allegory of the Good and Bad Government. For the first time in the history of art, a pictorial cycle is painted in which the prevailing theme is not religious but civil.
Torre del Mangia in Siena
If you suffer from vertigo, perhaps there is no need to venture up to the 88 meters of the Torre del Mangia, but we warn you that you will miss an exceptional view. From up there, in fact, the show is truly breath-taking. You can see all of Siena: from Piazza del Campo, to the slightly more distant Cathedral, to the distant hills.
Usually, you get to the Cathedral after visiting Piazza del Campo. Still with the majesty of the Piazza and the Palazzo Pubblico in the eyes, one is not expected to be surprised yet. What can Siena offer greater and more beautiful? The answer is simple: the Cathedral with the facade where black and white prevail. The most important jewels are inside: the floor, full of esoteric symbols and religious stories, the Piccolomini Library, frescoed by Pinturicchio, the Piccolomini Chapel, and the Pulpit, created by Nicola Pisano, with biblical scenes and the life of Jesus.
The Baptistery of Siena
Just behind the Cathedral of Siena, since 1325 the Baptistery contends for the cathedral the role of the most important religious place in the city.
The protagonist of the Baptistery is the baptismal font in bronze and marble, located right in the center of the Baptistery. Jacopo della Quercia, Giovanni di Turino, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Donatello, who made even the bronze angels that decorate the ciborium, left their hands on it.
What to eat in Siena
One cannot speak (and taste) the cuisine of Siena without speaking of the territory in which its products are born. The hills around the city have given oil, wine, meat and vegetables for centuries.
In winter, ribollita soup is what is needed to bear the cold. The great wines of Siena are always present: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. For those who do not get up from the table without having finished with the dessert, you are spoiled for choice: cantucci, ricciarelli, panforte and cavallucci, accompanied by the classic Vin Santo.
Where to stay: Castello delle Quattro Torra, Str. di Pieve a Bozzone, 36, 53100 Siena SI
Of 14th century origin, it belonged to the Cinughi family, then to the Bichi family. Used to defend the city of Siena, during the war of 1555 it was the accommodation of the Marquis of Marignano, losing most of its famous furnishings.
With the entry of the city into the Medici domains, it lost its defensive function to become a country residence, without however undergoing a real transformation into a villa. If you wish to experience the magic of sleeping in to a medieval castle, this is for you!