Brief guide of Siena

Duomo postcard early 1900's

Brief Guides of:

Chianti area
Colle val d'Elsa
Massa Marittima
Monte Oliveto
San Galgano
San Gimignano

Quiet rooms for rent in exclusive private
villa.  Best price versus quality in the area

Rooms for rent

The web site of Graziella Battigalli: the famous Italian painter
Graziella Battigalli

Wine collection in a medieval cellar in Siena, Italy

Along the road to Chianti...

Siena, Torre del Mangia

Siena is an historic town of Tuscany, of about 54,000 inhabitants, at 319 meters above sea level. It is rich in works of art and monuments. Previously an Etruscan city and Roman settlement, it experienced 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 color of red bricks.

  • 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 created by famous artists.

  • 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, jewellery 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 "Maestą", by Duccio di Buoninsegna.  

  • Battistero di San Giovanni
    On the right side of the Cathedral. It preserves the 15th 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
    Hosted in Palazzo Buonsignori, not far from the Cathedral, it preserves many works by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Pietro Lorenzetti and Ambrogio Lorenzetti.  

  • Piazza del Campo
    This is one of the most beautiful piazzas of Italy and perhaps of the world. Known for its shell shape. It is dominated by the Mangia Tower, built in 1848 and 102 mtrs high, from which it is possible to admire the panorama of the city. 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 and Sodoma. On the first floor the Civic Museum preserves many works including the frescoes "Guidoriccio da Fogliano" and the "Maestą", 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's possible to admire a series of frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, representing the allegories of "Good and Bad Government". Twice a year, the famous Palio of Siena takes place here.

  • 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 which hosts the head of the Saint. The crypt preserves another fine work, a golden cross painted by Sano di Pietro.

  • The Church of S. Agostino
    It hosts many works of art, by Vanni and Manetti. In the 15th century chapel called the 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.

  • Museum of Natural History
    Important exhibit of minerals and rocks. Worthy of note are the samples of meteorite stones which fell on a village near Siena in 1764.

  • Piazza 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's possible to visit it by appointment only.

  • Palazzo Piccolomini
    Built in 1469, it is the seat of the museum of Tavolette di Biccherna, a rich collection of miniatures by Sienese artists.

    Siena's typical products: Chianti wine, sheep's milk cheese, olive oil, ceramics, terracotta objects, wrought iron, leather goods and Siena's typical cakes (Panforte, panpepato, ricciarelli, copate and cavallucci.)

    Siena's events and feasts: "Il Palio", twice a year on July 2 and August 16. It takes place in the famous Piazza del Campo with thousands of spectators.

    Feast of San Giuseppe: It takes place from March 19 to the beginning of April in Via Duprč, close to Piazza del Campo, where you can find some stands offering good rice fritters and locally produced toys.

    Feast of Santa Lucia: This traditional event takes place on December 13, in "Pian dei Mantellini". Stands display ceramics, terra-cotta and ceramic handbells.

    Antique fair market: Every 3rd Sunday of the month in "Piazza del Mercato", close to the famous Piazza del Campo. About 80 exhibitors participate.

    Some Siena Internet Points: Via Cecco Angiolieri 51 - Via del Paradiso 8 - Via Pantaneto 54 - Via di Cittą 121

Driving directions:

By Train: The closest railway station is Siena train station
By Bus: Tra.In and SENA
By Air:
International flights to Rome, Milan, Florence or Pisa.
The closest airport is Siena - Ampugnano Airport

City map of SienaLook at the map
     To the Palio di Siena English page