When traveling in Tuscany, Siena is one of the places you cannot miss. This authentic Italian city is filled with incredible architecture, amazing ice cream and a rich history. Read all about the top 10 things to do in Siena right here.
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1. Eat Ice Cream At Bar Gelateria Il Camerlengo
Piazza Del Campo is the heart of Siena. There is a beautiful marble fountain with statues spouting out clear water. Moreover, the Piazza also gives a great view of the Palazzo Publico.
Wander about Piazza Del Campo and get an ice cream at Bar Gelateria Il Camerlengo. For only 3 euros you get a huge cone with 2 flavours homemade Italian ice cream. Try bueno and stracciatella 😍 hmmm! They have big chunks of chocolate and buenos in them. Besides great ice cream the terrace has a stunning view over the square and you can spot Romulus and Remus as well!
Also Read ➳ 3 Best Ice Cream Shops In Italy (2 are in Tuscany)
2. Drink Wine On A Balcony Overlooking Piazza Del Campo
Another great spot on Piazza Del Campo is Salumeria Il Cencio. This is a panini shop with fresh bread and cheap wine. Get a panini with typical Tuscan meat or other delicious fillings for 6 euros and a glass of wine for 2. Climb up to the balcony via a tight set of stairs in the back of the shop and enjoy the view over Piazza Del Campo!
3. Take In The Beauty Of The Duomo Di Siena
The Duomo of Siena is a sight for sore eyes and is in my opinion the highlight of Siena. You can explore the Duomo from inside-out, including going into the structure of the ceiling and on top of the roof. This gives a unique perspective on this impressive piece of architecture. (More on this at number 5!).
The first part to discover in the Duomo is the central area of the church. The builders of the Duomo had impeccable eye for detail, as every spot is covered in decorations and stories of important personalities from that era. This results in the Duomo being more interesting compared to other churches we have seen. Furthermore, the cathedral is completely covered in blue/white layered marble and even the floors are telling stories.
4. Admire The Books In The Libreria Piccolomini In The Duomo Di Siena
Don’t miss the library of the Duomo Di Siena. This is a small wing holding the books monks painted to spread the word of christ. The size of these huge books is very impressive, and the gold and skill needed to create these books is beautiful to see. But my favourite part of this library is the floor! Each tile of the floor has a half moon on it, creating a beautiful pattern throughout the room.
5. Climb Up To La Porta Del Cielo
The third part of the Duomo that is truly worth paying a visit is the La Porta Del Cielo. Here you can look into the Duomo Di Siena from multiple windows in the ceiling. A completely different perspective! See the craftsmanship of the church from up close and touch the beams holding up this work of art. Besides looking into the church, there is also an impressive view of the surroundings of Siena.
6. Dive In The Cripta Del Duomo Di Siena
Far down below the main and marbled parts of the Duomo is the crypt. In this crypt there are ancient paintings telling the story of how Jesus Christ died. It is remarkable how much colour still remains on these paintings. Furthermore, there are statues in the crypt and graves. Also there are peepholes in the floor of the crypt looking deep deep down into the depths of the crypt. This will help understand the magnitude of this underground structure.
7. Gaze Over Siena From The Facciatone
Next to the Duomo is the Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana. On the second floor of this museum is a staircase which leads to a panoramic view over all of Siena. From the top of the Facciatone you can spot Piazza del Campo and even look as far as the Tuscan hills. Plus you get a good look over the cathedral from above. Therefore, this is definitely worth a visit. However, do keep in mind that because of the tight spaces, you only get a very limited amount of time on this viewpoint and the people who work there are a bit stressed.
8. Climb the Torre del Mangia
Now that you’ve seen most of the Duomo, it is also possible to climb the Torre del Mangia which can be easily found on the Piazza Del Campo. The Torre Del Mangia is part of the city hall of Siena and towers far above the Piazza. Climb this tower and enjoy another incredible view over Siena and Piazza Del Campo!
Due to Covid-19 unfortunately, we were unable to climb the tower ourselves which is a shame. It stood high on our list of things to-do whilst being over at Siena. Once the COVID-19 situation calms down a bit be sure to check this one out!
9. Wander The Streets Of Siena
Besides both the Duomo and the Piazza Del Campo the beautiful streets of Siena are worth discovering as well. Walk about the city and let yourself be surprised with the beautiful buildings and architecture of Siena. When turning each corner even more cozy streets can be found which definitely add to the charm of the city.
10. Spot Romulus and Remus
The two brothers who founded Siena were called Senius and Aschius. They had to flee Rome as Romulus had murdered their father Remus and they were no longer safe in the capital. Because the founders of Siena are descendents of Remus, Siena claimed to be a descendant of one of the siblings nurtured by the she-wolf, adopting the symbol.
All over Siena you can spot statues of a wolf with Romulus and Remus under her belly feeding them. I suggest to make it into a game as there are countless statues and images of Romulus and Remus throughout Siena.
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