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About Siena


One of the most beautiful cities of Toscana is Siena. Surrounded by olives groves and vineyards of Chianti it is the right place where to go and make a wonderful panoramic view from the city settled on three hills. On the main center of the city you will find a big square Piazza del Campo where you will find Duomo and Santa Maria della Scala - the cultural landmarks of Siena. Take in advise that Siena is famous with "Palio", the annual historic horse-races on 2 July and 16 August. and go to see it then. Siena is also a home of one of the oldest Universities in Europe. In addition to the bustling daily life of the streets and squares of the city, Siena offers many cultural events, concerts, cinema, theater and a wide range of sporting activities.

Few geographical areas in the world can boast of the variety of environment that surrounds Siena. To the north, we have the richness of the Chianti landscape, woven with vines and olive-trees throughout the hills. Here nearby are also the beautiful towns like San Gimignano and Monteriggioni with old walls, winding streets and incredible views. South of Siena, the Arbia valley leads to the hill-top town of Montalcino, home to the famous Brunello wine. And the area La Crete stretches out, amazing visitors with its harsh rock formations and unique landscape. Westwards we head towards the coast, to captivating coastline towns like Castiglione della Pescaia, and nature reserves like the area called Maremma. With such natural beauty within easy reach by car or public transport, Siena is a good place to base yourself for a Tuscan experience. The Chianti area, between Florence and Siena, is one of the most beautiful countrysides in Italy and a famous wine production area.


What to see in Siena?

Siena was originally divided into areas, called "Terzi" that means Thirds.

I. "Terzo di Città"

The First One, called "Terzo di Città" was the earliest inhabited area of the city.

In the "Terzo di Città", there still is Piazza Postierla, which features the smallest window in the world, situated on the building on the right of the square. Via di Castelvecchio used to host, on the highest hilltop of the area, and the Castelsenio, refuge of Remus according to legend, and the Cappella delle Ceneri di Sant'Ansano, where the city's first martyr is said to have been jailed. In Via di Stalloreggi, there is the Madona of the Crow built where according to legend a crow fell in 1348 spreading the plague through the city. The "Terzo di Città" also has the Duomo, an imposing cathedral of black and white marble and the Museum of Santa Maria della Scala set in the structure of one of Europe's first hospitals as well as the Center for Contemporary Arts, Palazzo delle Papesse.

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II. "Terzo di Camollia"

"Terzo di Camollia" takes its name from the City Gate, called Porta Camollia which is faced to the direction of Firenze (Florence), the traditional enemy and therefore was always heavily guarded. "Terzo di Camollia" includes the main shopping, banking and leisure street of the city, Via Banchi di Sopra with the two squares, Piazza Salimbeni and Piazza Tolomei. "Terzo di Camollia" also hosts several Basilica Santa Maria in Provenzano, in commemoration of whom the Palio race is held on the 2nd July each year, S. Francesco, S. Domenico and the Fortezza, an imposing fortress.

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III. "Terzo di San Martino"

"Terzo di San Martino" and Piazza del Campo is the area expanded around the Francigena street - the pilgrim route heading to Rome. S.Martino was the name of the patron saint of pilgrims. In this area there is Piazza del Campo at the heart of the city. "Campo" means field and it is square as we know it today. This is where the Palio is held twice a year on the 2nd of July and 16th of August. In Piazza del Campo there are the Palazzo Pubblico (City Hall), the Torre del Mangia, with a magnificent view of the whole city from the top of the tower, and the famous fountain Fonte Gaia as well as many other churches and small medieval streets.

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Events & Feasts

Palio of Siena (Palio di Siena)

The Palio of Siena is one of the most famous Italian manifestations saved to our days. It is a beautiful and spectacular competition between the districts of Siena in the form of a carousel horse with medieval origin.

It is organized every year on July 2 and August 16. The Palio is run to celebrate the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary near the old houses that belonged to Provenzano Salvani. The holy apparition was therefore called "Madonna di Provenzano" in whose honour the very first Palio was run on August 16, 1656. The Palio was run for the first time in 1701 in honor of the "Madonna dell'Assunta" ·(Our Lady of the Assumption) the patroness and Advocate of Siena through all the tragic events since she protected the Sienese militia at the famous battle of Monteaperti on September 4, 1260, against the Florentines.

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How to go to Siena?

  • By Air

The most close airport to Siene is the one of Firence (Florence).

For more information visit the Florence Airport web site.

Pisa Airoport is the second one airport not so far from Siena that have good connection

via Tra-In bus service.

Having central position in the Italian Peninsula Siena has very good communications with all parts of Italy by train, bus or car.

  • By Train

The train takes at about an hour and a half from Florence to Siena and runs frequently every day. If you're coming from Pisa you may have to change trains at Empoli.The train from Roma is a bit more awkward and not as frequent: you have to change trains in Chiusi.

The Siena train station is at about 1.5 km far from the historic center of the city. The walk is pretty much all uphill.

You can order your tickets online, pay by credit card and pick them up at electronic ticket machines in the larger cities such as Rome, Milan and Florence.

For more information visit the Italian Railway web site.

  • By Bus

One of the fastest ways to travel around Tuscany, and particularly between Rome and Siena or Florence and Siena is by bus. The SITA bus station is just around the corner from the train station in Florence. SITA buses take just under an hour, run frequently, and let you off in Siena's historic city center. Check SITA schedule online (the site is in Italian only).

There is also bus service from Pisa Airport to Siena via Siena's local Tra-In bus service. You can access their schedule online. You can get around Siena and its neighboring communities easily by the local Tra-In system as well. Check their schedule online.

If you're going from Rome to Siena you'll want to visit the Sena (not Siena) bus company's web site.

  • By Car

Getting to Siena by car takes about two hours from Rome or forty-five minutes from Florence. It's what to do with your car once you've gotten there that presents is the greatest challenge. Remember that auto traffic is strictly limited inside the city walls so unless you have special authorization from your hotel be prepared to park outside.

Parking near the city walls has become quite challenging for locals and tourists alike. Most parking is metered.

There is a free parking lot next to the fortezza and a pay lot on the other side of the fortezza next to the La Lizza Park; there is also a pay lot nearby at the nearby soccer stadium. Note however that these pay lots are unavailable on market Wednesdays and soccer Sundays. Parking along the street next to the fortezza is free, although parking down some of the side streets is metered. Check first.

There is a pay parking lot at Porta Tufi (signposted "Il Campo Parking"), a 15-20 minute walk to the Piazza del Campo. There's another pay lot parking at Porta San Marco (southeastern part of the city), as well as metered parking on the street leading into Porta Romana (southwestern part of the city) and a parking garage by Porta Ovile (also metered).

For information on parking in Siena visit the Siena parking web site (in Italian only).

If you're staying overnight in the city check with your hotel or landlord to see what your parking options may be.


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Map of Siena


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