Siena Italy points of interest
(49 POI for a 3 days itinerary)
Universally known all over the world for its artistic and architectural heritage, Siena is a pearl in the green Tuscany.
The historical center, Patrimony of the Unesco, still preserve the whole charm of the ancient medieval cities.
The artworks that can be admired inside its boundaries are among the most important testimonies of the history of the art in Italy.
This is only the beginning of the trip, considering that the landscapes that surround Siena are a real heaven for the one who loves the country.
How to choose what to see in Siena?
Here is an itinerary of three days, with actually 49 points of interest of Siena!
Hotels and flights search for Siena
Piazza del Campo
unique in the world
The starting point shouldn't be other than Piazza del Campo, the most famous and known of the city.
Its particular form remembers that of a shell, and it is famous all over the world for the Palio.
But also for how well the medieval buildings are preserved.
Palazzo Pubblico and
the political shine in Siena
Art and political power are strongly tied in Siena.
Located in Piazza del Campo, it is the center of the Government of the Nine and the Government of the Twelve, the magistracies that more contributed in the medieval to the shine of the city.
The Civic Museum and
the Room of the World Map
Palazzo Pubblico is also the center of the Civic Museum.
You'll cross the rooms of the city power, all richly decorated by the best painters of the '300.
The most famous is the Room of the World map with the great Maestà by Simone Martini, in which the religious symbols and those of the civil power are intertwined in harmony.
The Room of the Nine
and the "good government."
The function of the Civic Building was that to govern wisely the city.
Therefore, it doesn't surprise that also the artworks that decorate it are in line with this purpose.
The Nine Room, the center of the Magistracy, shows two significant frescos, among the most famous of the whole Italian medieval art.
The Allegories of the Good and the Bad Government, masterpieces by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
For the bravest
the Tower of Mangia
Like many Italian public buildings, the one of Piazza del Campo has its tower too.
Not any tower, however.
The Tower of Mangia is the third highest in Italy, and with its 88 meters, it has a fantastic view over the city, repaying the work to get there.
More than 400 steps.
art to the service of the city
Things to see in Piazza del Campo, there are at will. And Fonte Gaia is one of them.
A real piece of art.
The monumental fountain was realized in the '300 to bring the water to the center of the city, and it is among the most important artistic beauties of Siena today.
The buildings of Piazza del Campo
The main characteristic of Piazza del Campo is the presence of ancient historical buildings, many of which go back to the '300.
One of the most beautiful is Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari, renewed in the '700.
It is one of the most representatives of Siena, and inside the noble floor, there are vibrant frescos and beautiful furnishing.
The great feast of the Palio
On July 2 and on August 16 you can assist to the Palio, one of the most important in Italy, running in Piazza del Campo.
A great festival that is more than a horserace.
It adds an animated series of events in the days before.
It is one of the most important appointments in the city, and it summons every year thousands of visitors.
Food and wines
at the Campo's market
The market of Siena is an occasion to not lose for whom decides to sojourn here in winter.
With more than 150 benches, in the first week of December, they showcase the most important products of the local gastronomy.
All accompanied by the most classical of Siena's wines, the Chianti.
The masterpiece of Italian Gothic
From Piazza del Campo, walking through via Di Città you'll reach square of the Duomo.
Describing the cathedral in few words is practically impossible.
It is among the maximum masterpieces of Roman-Gothic Italian.
Giovanni Pisano's facade, in white marble, it is only the external face of this masterpiece.
Inside it, it's full of artworks, chapels, altars, frescos, and sculptures.
It is unquestionably one of the most important places to visit in Siena.
A marble Bible under your feet
Between all of the masterpieces that can be admired in the Cathedral, the most famous it is undoubtedly the floor, that can be viewed only from August to October.
It shows the Bible, as well as 56 scenes "to read" one by one.
It was realized by the greatest marble artists of Siena between the '200 and the '800.
Duomo's Museum dell'Opera
Today the aisle of the new cathedral hosts the museum.
With the sculptures of Giovanni Pisano, Donatello.
And the famous Majesty by Duccio of Buoninsegna, a '300 masterpiece.
Together with the most ancient glass door of Italy, by the same author.
From hospital to a museum
the Complex of Saint Maria delle Scale
In front of the Cathedral, there is the monumental complex of Saint Maria delle Scale.
Another of the places to visit in Siena.
The old hospital, one of the most important in Italy, hosts inside beautiful halls as the famous Pellegrinaio, and decorated chapels.
While in the undergrounds you can visit the Archaeological Museum.
Not only art, the power of the merchants
Back on Via Di Città and continuing on Via Banchi di Sopra you can admire the testimonies of another important social class of Siena.
The merchants and the bankers.
The first building to see is the Loggia della Mercanzia with its Renaissance porches.
Palazzo Tolomei and the history of Pia
quoted from Dante
The following building, in the homonym plaza, is Palazzo Tolomei, a very influential banker in the city.
The history of the building is tied up to that of Pia, unlucky noblewoman that was killed by her husband, and how Dante quotes her in his Divine Comedy.
A bank that seems a castle
Direct competitors of the Tolomei, the Salimbeni built their building just beyond.
A bank that, due to its forms, seems like a castle.
This shows how much the families devoted to the change of money were able to do.
Today it is the headquarter of Monte dei Paschi, one of the most ancient Italian banks.
A basilica for the relics of Saint Caterina
Siena is also the country of Saint Caterina, one of the religious more revered in Italy.
The relics of the Saint rest in the church of St. Domenico, reachable from Via della Sapienza.
The building has the austere charm typical of the mendicant orders.
Quench your thirst in Fontebranda
From San Domenico, you can quickly reach Fontebranda, one of the historical fountains in Siena.
It was realized in the '200 and was also quoted by Boccaccio and Dante.
It brings the water in the city with over 25 kilometers of underground plumbings.
house sanctuary of Saint Caterina
Fontebranda is not distant from the old building of the Benincasa, native house of Saint Caterina.
Today it hosts a sanctuary with numerous oratories, realized in those that once were the kitchens and the rooms where the religious lived.
The visit can be the worthy conclusion of the first day of this itinerary.
Pinacoteca of Siena
The first day has been dedicated to the must-see places, while from the second you can continue digging in the history and the treasures of Siena.
Places of interest like the rich Pinacoteca Nazionale of Via St. Pietro, with the paintings of the greatest masters of the '600.
Science and curiosity in the
Museum of the Fisiocritici
Following toward Porta dell'Arco, you'll reach the Museum of Natural History of the Academy of the Fisiocritici.
With its zoological collections, geological, anatomical, and also some curious finding like the skeleton of a whale.
Among the rare plants of
the Botanic Garden
Adjacent to the Museum of the Fisiocritici, the Botanic Garden could be a pleasant diversion, with rare plants coming from every continent.
Surely, a break that will allow bathing in nature before returning to the artistic beauties of Siena.
Among olive trees and orchards
in the Gardens of the Tolomei
Continuing through Via Mattioli, toward Porta Tufi, you can notice a small door on the left that allows accessing the Gardens of the Tolomei.
It is a slice of countryside within the city boundaries, with olive and fruit trees, in front of a breathtaking landscape.
On the opposite side of the garden, there is the beautiful Via Sant'Agata, among the most picturesque of Siena.
The other face of Palazzo Pubblico
square of the Market
Reaching Piazza del Mercato you can observe again Palazzo Pubblico, but from the opposite side in comparison to Piazza del Campo.
In the center of the square rises the XIX century building called "Tartarugone."
A covered market under which the sellers prepare the benches for the market.
Enchanting panoramas from
the garden of the Pecci
Once, from Piazza del Mercato went out the death row inmates, marching toward Porta della Giustizia (the Door of the Justice.)
Today, that sad route conducts instead to a more enchanting place, the Gardens of the Pecci.
A beautiful cultivated valley today open to the visitors.
Saint Maria dei Servi and
the Madonna with Child
From the gardens continue through Porta Romana and the Basilica of Saint Maria dei Servi.
Inside the church, you can admire the beautiful painting of the Madonna with her Child.
It is a curious work because it was realized by Coppo of Marcovaldo, imprisoned by the Senesi, as the "ransom" to get the liberty.
The synagogue and the old Jewish ghetto
Not far away from the Basilica, passing through Via St. Martino and then through the alleys and the little squares of the ancient Jewish ghetto.
Here the Jewish community was segregated from the '500 to the '700.
Among its roads is located the beautiful synagogue that certainly deserves a visit.
The "Biccherne" painted in the State's Archive
Via San Martin also allows reaching the Loggia of the Pope and Palazzo Piccolomini, beautiful examples of Renaissance architecture.
Inside, the State's Archive is undoubtedly a place to visit in Siena because you can admire the old "biccherne."
They are the covers of the bookkeeping books of the town, painted between the XIII and the XVIII century from the most significant artists that sojourned in the city.
The feudal noble and the city, the Castellari
What to see in Siena after having admired its monuments and main museums?
The third day of this itinerary can start with the Castellare of the Ugurgieri.
The only one still intact since the '200, when the great vassals of the countries established themselves in the city becoming, from gentlemen of the war to wealthy merchants and dealers.
This fortitude stays to testify their presence in Siena.
A Palio in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano
Of the two runs of the Palio organized in Piazza del Campo, that of July 2 is devoted to the Madonna of Provenzano, whose church is located not far away from the Castellare of the Ugorgieri.
A beautiful building in Mannerist style protects the sacred image of the Virgen, particularly beloved from the Senesi.
The miracle of the "particole" of St. Francesco
Head toward the church of St. Francesco.
Here you can appreciate one of the neighborhoods less frequented by the tourists, but also among the more characteristic of Siena.
This beautiful Basilica deserves a visit.
Both for the paintings by Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti, and for the "sacred particole "that it hosts, than stole in 1730, find again and now preserved, miraculously intact, until today.
Via Montanini and the noble buildings
The next stop is street Montanini, one of the most stately of Siena.
On which lean out old noble buildings where you can still see the medieval mullioned, the crests of the families, the rests of ancient towers now englobed in the architectures of the following epochs.
Indeed a suggestive angle of the city.
The ancient boundaries and Door Camollia
Continuing you'll meet Porta Camollia, one of the best preserved in the city.
It was built for honoring the place in which, according to the legend, during the foundation of Rome, Romolo sent his commander Camulio to capture his nephews, Senio and Ascanio.
St. Pietro alla Magione
the church of the Templars
On the street Camollia, it is also located the church of St. Pietro, which was the mansion of the Templars and then of the Knights of Malta.
The small sacred building, in Romanesque style, still preserve engraved on one of its walls the cross, symbol of the Templars.
The Gardens of Lizza
From Via Camollia you can reach the Gardens of Lizza.
A great plaza, anciently used for the exercises of the horse soldiers and today among the gardens more appreciated by the Senesi.
Time for pleasant walks and children games.
The great fortitude devoted to the jazz
Dominating the Gardens of Lizza, there is the mighty massive structure of the Rocca Medicea.
Built in the '500 by Cosimo dei Medici.
Today this fortitude entertains "Siena Jazz," the first jazz university in Italy, that forms musicians coming from the whole world.
Siena and its cuisine
This 3 days itinerary among the main places of interest of Siena cannot end without first having eaten in one of the typical taverns of the city.
Here a list of the best ones for tasting the traditional dishes of Tuscany and its best wines.
A cultural heritage of ancient works
One of the characteristics of Siena is also the presence of numerous artisan shops that hand down the traditional jobs of the city.
Visiting the historical center you can admire the Senesi ceramic, the laboratories where the metal, the wood, the glass and the terracotta are worked.
Countryside, the Green Valleys
The harmony of the city spaces with those green it is unique in Siena.
Even inside the city walls, you can find gardens and orchards.
These are the "Green Valleys," areas without buildings since the '300.
Today, they are very popular between the Senesi.
The Walks of Author
The historical center is rich with vivacious initiatives and who wants to discover them can also count on interesting events as the Walks of Author.
A real tour that brings the visitors to the discovery of the most picturesque angles of Siena.
Accompanied by university teachers, musicians, writers, and journalists, often with some famous guest.
Siena for Kids
The smallest can have a good time too.
They can learn a lot visiting the city thanks to Siena for Kids, a program that offers opportunities to the families and their children.
It is about guided visits with animation, games, itineraries.
Organized to tell the city in an amusing way.
An elegant evening to the theater
For whom loves the music, the opera or the prose has at least two possibilities in Siena.
The first one is the Theater dei Rozzi, while the second is the Theater of Rinnovati, both situated in Palazzo Pubblico.
Both the stages offer a rich calendar.
Music and wine for Seven Notes in Seven Nights
Visiting Siena in the winter period, between November and December, it allows the lovers of the music to appreciate one of the most important events of the territory.
Seven Notes in Seven Nights.
It is a festival musical that unites music with the pleasure of the good wine, with tastings of Chianti and other great wines of the Senesi hills.
Chigiana International Festival
Who wants to hear the best instrumentalists, in summer there is another excellent appointment.
The Chigiana International Festival proposed every year in July and August.
Not only Siena, the landscapes of Via Francigena
There are places that, for their beauty, become some real icons, and the Tuscan country is one of these.
That's why Siena and its territory have decided to valorize the ancient Street Francigena, the route that once united Italy to the rest of Europe.
Who loves to walk and still has a few days to spend can take advantage of it and choose one of the tracks that in 120 km unites St. Gimignano to Radicofani.
Away from cars and noises, in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy.
To know more read my article on the best trekking paths of Italy.
On the bike in the Senesi countryside
The territory of Siena is crossed by an excellent net of cycle routes, perfect both for standard bikes and for mountain bikes.
Bathe in the landscapes that surround Siena.
You'll have only the spoilt of choice among about ten itineraries.
Romantic trips on the Train Nature
Siena also offers the possibility to visit its beautiful countries and the surrounding countries with the Train Nature.
With the puffing vapor locomotives that bring the visitors on the most picturesque railway.
Indeed a different way to appreciate the territory.
The itineraries of the Chianti and the Vin Santo
The art and the culture are the real treasure in Siena.
But it is also true that the vineyards of its territory are a precious contribution to the value of this city.
Who wants to taste some good wine could appreciate an itinerary among the Senesi hills.
Read here to discover the best wineries in Tuscany.
A world of villages to be discovered
Siena is already a stupendous destination, but the old medieval villages that surround it are no less.
Jewels that the whole world envies to Italy, as Monteriggioni or St. Gimignano.
They are at just a few minutes.
It is worth to stay one day more to program a trip on the near villages.
Come to see Siena
Simply because it is a unique place in the world where the time seems to have stopped.
The integrity with which the beautiful historical center has remained unchanged since the '300, is unlike all over the world.
It is complicated not to fall in love with it.