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What to see in Siena in one day

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
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Siena it is one of the most visited and loved cities in Tuscany. A city rich in artistic beauty, culture and tradition, every year it attracts thousands of tourists who visit it also to experience the emotion of its historic palio that keeps millions of viewers glued to the television every year. Known for its historic division into districts, Siena is a city on a human scale, where a simple walk turns into a timeless and unforgettable experience.
Located in the center of Tuscany, Siena has become a symbol of art and opulence thanks to its churches and noble palaces that have seen the presence of very important personalities such as Donatello and Raffaello Sanzio. His Old Town in fact, thanks to its huge cultural and artistic heritage, since 1995 it is joined UNESCO. If you have a day and you've never seen it, visit it! You will not regret it...



Index

  1. One day itinerary in Siena: Morning
  2. One day itinerary in Siena: Afternoon
  3. One day itinerary in Siena: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

One day itinerary in Siena: Morning

1 - Siena Cathedral

For our day trip to Siena we will leave directly from the historic center of the city. But first of all it is necessary to do breakfast, and for this we recommend the Bar Pinacoteca just 5 minutes from our first stop: Piazza Duomo. Prices may be a little above average, but you should still be well below € 5,00. With a full stomach it's time to head for the Siena Cathedral along Via San Pietro which then becomes Via del Capitano heading north. Built in Romanesque-Gypsy style, the Cathedral is located in an elevated position with respect to the ground which makes it even more majestic. Like many other Tuscan cathedrals, it is characterized by an exterior made of marbles of different colors that form horizontal motifs. Inside, rich in decorations and artistic works, you will also find a part of the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, which contains works of inestimable value, among which those of Duccio di Buoninsegna stand out.



2 - Piccolomini Library and Baptistery of San Giovanni

Thanks to a cumulative ticket you can also access the Piccolomini Library, very close to the Duomo. Dedicated to Pope Pius II, it is an artistic masterpiece thanks to the frescoes by Pinturicchio and Raffaello Sanzio made in the early 1500s that cover practically every point of the wall. The fact that gold was used abundantly makes everything even brighter and more gorgeous.
After completing the visit to the Piccolomini Library, walk along via Fusari until Baptistery of San Giovanni. Located in the square of the same name, the baptistery has a facade that is still unfinished today. Inside you will find a baptismal font which is a splendid example of Renaissance art, made of marble, bronze and enamel. It seems that artists such as Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia. Raising your head instead you will see numerous frescoes that decorate the vaults of the baptistery, which represent religious themes.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 400 m / 6 min
  • places visited: Duomo, Piccolomini Library (€ 4,00 approximately), Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (€ 7,00 approximately), Baptistery of San Giovanni (€ 4,00 approximately)
  • quick entry to the Cathedral of Siena
  • where to have breakfast: Bar Pinacoteca, via San Pietro 38

One day itinerary in Siena: Afternoon

1 - Piazza del Campo and Torre del Mangia

From here, take via dei Pellegrini until you reach Piazza del Campo, certainly one of the most famous squares in Italy. Its characteristic shell shape that lowers as you proceed towards the center and the red brick paving does not make it look even like a square. Rather it seems to be inside a gigantic hall of a noble palace. If at this point of the itinerary you are hungry you could have lunch at the San Paolo Pub for a quick meal in one of the most beautiful settings in Italy. Average price? about € 10,00 per person. Once you have finished eating, head towards the "lowest" point of the square, where you will find the Torre del Mangia, the civic tower of Siena. From its 87 meters high you can see one of the most beautiful 360 ° views of the city.



2 - Civic Museum, Sanctuary of Santa Caterina, Diocesan Museum, Basilica of San Francesco

Another attraction that you will find in Piazza del Campo is the civic Museum. Set up in the 30s, it is located on the first floor of the City Palace. Among the various rooms that make up the museum we will mention just a few: in the first four you will find works ranging from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, including the Mandonna with Child and Santi del Sodoma. In the Sala del Risorgimento you will find th century frescoes and sculptures.
Leaving the Civic Museum, take via delle Terme and then cut onto via dei Pittori, you will arrive at Sanctuary of the House of Santa Caterina. This is the real house where Santa Caterina lived, transformed into a museum about her life in 1464. Proceeding east on via dei Rossi you will then arrive at Diocesan Museum and to Basilica of San Francesco. Inside this museum there are fourteenth-century frescoes and Sienese paintings ranging from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century, a real must for art lovers. Also not to be missed is the Basilica of San Francesco, just nearby. Its sobriety counterbalances the splendor of the cathedral and other churches in the city.
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In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,5 km / 20 min
  • places visited: Piazza del Campo (free), Torre del Mangia and Civic Museum (€ 13,00), House of Santa Caterina da Siena (free), Diocesan Museum and Basilica of San Francesco (€ 3,00 approximately).
  • Guided tour of Siena
  • where to have lunch: San Paolo Pub, vicolo San Paolo 2

One day itinerary in Siena: Evening

1 - Dinner and Historic Center

With regard to the will be there are no particular tips other than to take a few hours to stroll through the districts of the city without a specific destination. The show that will give you fully illuminated Piazza del Campo is not a trivial matter and certainly deserves to be seen, like the historic center of the city. Right in Piazza del Campo we point out one of the places that could be right for you for dinner: it is Il Bandierino. Here you can dine spending around 20,00 per person. Certainly a bit high price, but given where you are it's a fair price. When will it happen again to eat in Piazza del Campo in the evening? Once you are there you can head south crossing the Market Square, original and suggestive destination for an evening stroll.



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 650 m / 9 min
  • places visited: Old Town, Market Square
  • where to dine: The Flag, Piazza del Campo 64

Before leaving: useful tips

Siena, as already mentioned, is a city on a human scale. Its Historic Center can be easily visited on foot and does not reserve particular surprises or attentions regarding the preparations, however it is always better to keep in mind some advice utli.

  • You can reach Siena with train
  • The Old Town can only be visited on foot, but the city is well served by one bus line.
  • Many attractions have a cumulative ticket with other places of interest nearby
  • If you decide to extend your visit, take a look at our offers for a stay in Siena.

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

Siena may be small, but it is so rich in attractions that seeing them all in one day is very difficult if not impossible. Meanwhile, breathe a sigh of relief, you've seen all the main sights of the city, but something has been set aside for this time. So here's what not to see if you have little time available in Siena.

  1. At the Orto de'Pecci: this destination is far enough away to be added to our itinerary
  2. Natural History Museum of the Academy of Physiocrats: beautiful, but if you don't have time to visit it for good, it is better to move on
  3. Fortress of Santa Barbara: the attraction is difficult to reach with little time available
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