Siena is a destination that attracts tourists from all over the world and it doesn’t need an introduction – it is one of the main towns in Tuscany and its historical center is declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – However, an itinerary through the most interesting attractions in Siena is useful if you wish to know what this medieval town has to offer, besides the famous Palio.
The divine beauty of the Duomo
Once arrived you should go to the complex of the Cathedral, the main sight after Piazza del Campo. This venue includes Duomo, Museum of Opera, one of the oldest in Italy, the Crypt where artwork is held dating back to the 13th century, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, where you can admire some Renaissance masterpieces like the parish church of San Giovanni Battista, and Piccolomini Library, renowned for its Pinturicchio frescoes.
Until October 27th some areas usually closed to the public are open after extensive renovation: the floor and the ceiling of the Cathedral, the so-called Gate of Heaven. For the first time it’s possible to join a guided tour through rooms and passages that have never been open before, and enjoy a suggestive view of Sienese divine beauty from the top.
When looking for accommodation, there is a relais very close to the center, a charming palace dating back to the 14th century: Palazzo Ravizza, which features welcoming rooms, an enchanting garden and a very peaceful mood.
The fortress of DOC taste
Siena and its province are renowned for wine production; in fact a lot of Sienese wines obtain the DOC and DOCG quality labels.
To combine historical tradition and genuine tastes, you should go to Medicea Fortress, a military building later turned into a public garden. The Fortress now hosts the Enoteca Italiana, located in northeastern bastions, a public institution founded to promote the best wines of Italy.
Tasting a precious wine at the terrace of the Enoteca is a delight for all gourmets, and furthermore you can buy your favorite wines, choosing from among 1500 selected labels, or book a dinner at Millevini restaurant to discover the deliciousness created by the chef, Alberto Degortes. The Enoteca is open from Monday to Saturday, 12:00 am – 00.00 pm.
Fontebranda, the voice of Siena
Our touristic route continues with a visit to Fontebranda, the most impressive medieval fountain in Siena, that tells us of the beauty of a place unique in the world. This fountain is related to the story of Saint Catherine, the Patron Saint of Siena, who lived near here and is a sort of Gothic monument.
The underground aqueducts are dug into the rock and are called “bottini” because they are covered by barrel vaults. The bottini are now open to the public exclusively by reservation, a guided tour that allows you to learn more about the origins of Siena.
In addition, a sound art installation was set up at Fontebranda, a reconstruction of language and dialogues spoken during the 14th century, now played by Sienese actors, a fragment of everyday life that is called “sound tourism”.
Another great place to stay in Siena is Hotel Athena, just a few minutes from the main attractions, that offers comfortable rooms and a breathtaking view from the panoramic terrace. Each room has an unmistakable style and is fitted with a wide range of facilities, the suitable choice for families or small groups of friends.
These three stages enclose a charming world, to discover gradually during a relaxing stay in Siena.