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Siena, city of the Palio and World Heritage Site

Siena-GonfaloneunescoThe city of Siena is universally known for its considerable historical and artistic landscape, as well as for the substantial stylistic unity urban aspect, in large part dating back to the Middle Ages. UNESCO has conferred Siena the recognition of World Heritage. Tourism is definitely the most popular driving activity and the famous Palio of Siena constitutes one of the main highlights. The city is home to the headquarters of the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, founded in 1472, thus being the oldest in the world bank.

Somewhat unique is Siena’s craft, which is linked to the restoration of antique furniture. Preserving an ancient tradition, activities and crafts considered anachronistic are still very much a reality in the city: “glitter” (polisher’s furniture), icon painters, copying ancient paintings, embroiderers. The confectionery industry is one of the most important of the traditional ones, and, with both artisanal and industrial production, has retained many traditional local specialties.

ZONE Senese
TIPYArt Capital and Province of Siena
COORDINATES 43°19′06″N 11°19′53″E
ALTITUDE 322 meters above sea level
PRODUCTS Antique furniture, deli, and desserts
SPORT Trekking, hiking, cycling, horseback riding, skating, field hockey
BORDERS Asciano, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Monteriggioni, Monteroni d'Arbia, Sovicille (SI)

siena mapTourist Information

Siena Municipality
Palazzo Pubblico, Il Campo, 1 – 53100 – Siena (SI)
Phone +39 0577 292111
www.comune.siena.it

Info and reservations for disabled
Phone +39 0577 292215

siena mappTouristic Office

Piazza Duomo, 1
Phone +39 0577 280551
Piazza Campo, 56
Phone +39 0577 270676
www.terresiena.it

Guides
Piazza Campo, 56
Phone:  +39 0577 43273

WHAT TO SEE

Fortresses of Siena

Medicean Fortress

fortezza mediceaArea: Siena
Type: fortified building (16th century)

Also known as the Fort of Santa Barbara, built in 1561 by order of the Duke of Florence, Cosimo I Medici wanted the Fortress to discourage any attempt by the city to regain their independence. The fort was designed by Baldassarre Lanci and completed in two years, almost exclusively using tiles. In the 18th century it was demilitarized, and after adequate restoration work, in 1937 it was transformed into a public garden. The original building had an L-shaped plant, but was later converted into a quadrilateral. On each corner there are placed cuneiform imposing bastions, three of which posted a Medici coat of arms in travertine, overlying a lion’s head. Inside, along the top of the walls, wide passages have been built, surrounded with trees and benches. At the center, the esplanade, is an amphitheater-like structure optimized for shows during the summer months.

Belcaro Castle

castello belcaroArea: Siena
Locality:  Belcaro
Type: fortified palace (12th – 16th century)
Address: street of Terrenzano and Belcaro

Legend has it that a lady who lived in this castle had been waiting for her spouse to come back from the war. One day, as she held her baby into her arms, she finally saw her man coming back home. In a rushed attempt to hug him, she stretched out her arms and the baby fell in the garden. She then looked at her man and said, “Your beauty came at a high price!” Hence the name of the castle, Belcaro.

The fort was built in 1190, but was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt in the following two centuries. In 1376, it was donated to St. Catherine of Siena, who turned it into a convent for nuns. In 1525, it was bought by Turamini family and designed by Baldassare Peruzzi, who modified it and made its current appearance of a fortified palace. In 1710, the property was purchased by Camajori family, the current owner.

The castle, surrounded by walls, is composed of several buildings that are structured around three open spaces: a garden and two courtyards. Opposite the entrance is an arched opening that gives access to the inner courtyard, overlooked by the villa and the service rooms. The main building, however, is spread over three floors and has a rectangular shape. In the garden the chapel is situated, which houses various works of art. In the garden overlooking the loggias, there is an elegant space with three sides on which mythological stories are painted: the goddess Diana, the three Graces, the loves of Venus, the Rape of Europa. Nowadays, it is part of the Residences Historical circuit of Tuscany.

Churches of Siena

doumoCathedral of Siena

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (Siena Duomo)

duomo Area: Siena
Type: church-cathedral (12th – 14th century)

The cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is one of the most important and majestic churches of Italy. The construction was begun in the 12th century. In the 13th century, with the completion of the façade under the supervision of Giovanni Pisano, it was transformed into a basilica. In 1339, it was decided to expand it but, as a result of unexpected events, the works were interrupted in 1357. The traces of what has been achieved so far are clearly visible in the adjacent Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. In 1870, a fire destroyed the wooden outer dome and part of the roof of the nave; both were later restored. The church, in Romanesque-Gothic style, was built on a sort of raised platform of some steps up from ground level. The façade, all in white marble, with some red marble decoration of Siena and serpentine of Prato, is divided into two parts, upper and lower, as if to indicate two distinct phases of construction.

vetrata museo opera duomo

The decoration is predominantly sculptural, with particular emphasis on the Gothic era statues of prophets, patriarchs, pagan philosophers and prophets. The lower part was built by Giovanni Pisano in the years 1284-1297 and reflects a Romanesque-Gothic transition. The upper part, in pure Gothic style, is the work of Camaino of Creswell, who worked between 1299 and around 1317. At the center of the façade there is a beautiful rose window, framed by gothic niches containing busts of the apostles and prophets pay homage to the Madonna with Child, placed in the central niche. The dome, twelve-sided, is characterized by two orders of loggias, with twin columns and slender lancet arches. It was completed in 1263 with the placement on top of the copper sphere. The bell tower, about 77 meters high, is in Romanesque style and was completed in 1313. The decoration consists of bands of white and green marble interrupted by six orders of windows.

duomo interno

The plant of the church is a Latin cross. The interior is of exceptional beauty and artistic richness. The main hall is divided into three naves. The transept has a hexagonal section, surmounted by a dome. The plant is also divided into numerous bays and the vaults are cruising, all decorated in blue and stars. Two magnificent rose windows are present in the counter and the choir. The rose façade contains a large stained glass window depicting the Last Supper, a work by Pastorino de‘ Pastorini (1549). The nave and chancel are surmounted by a windowsill above a long row of busts of 171 Popes, made between 1497 and 1502. Of great interest are the numerous capitals stained placed above the pillars. Noteworthy are also the two marble holy water fonts of Antonio Federighi (1458).

pavimento duomo

Of great value is the pulpit on the Opere floor, designed by Nicola Pisano (1265), one of the most important sculptures of the 13th century. The work has an octagonal plan with various reliefs and statues, and the plinth is adorned with figures representing the liberal arts and philosophy. In the left transept is the tomb of Mark Antony Zondadari, Grand Master of the Order of Malta, carved in 1723-1726 by Giuseppe Mazzuoli. The Chapel of St. John the Baptist, originally used as a baptistery, was built to house the relic of the arm. In Renaissance style, with a circular plan, the chapel is covered by a hemispherical dome, project Giovanni di Stefano, and frescoed by Pinturicchio in 1504. In the central niche there is a bronze statue of St. John the Baptist, carved by Donatello in 1455.

duomo interno1

The Cathedral altar painting, which depicts Sant’Ansano baptizing the people of Siena, is the work of Francesco Vanni (1593-1596) and is one of the most valuable paintings of the cathedral. The Chapel of the Madonna del Voto, or Chigi Chapel, is located in a symmetrical position to that of St. John the Baptist. The most valuable works are the statues of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Jerome, both made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The apse was frescoed by Domenico Beccafumi (1535-1544). The two large frescoes on the back wall to the apse are by Ventura Salimbeni (1608-1611). The main altar, made of polychrome marble, was designed and built in 1530 by Baldassare Peruzzi. The high Eucharistic tabernacle in bronze at the center is the work of Lorenzo di Pietro, known as Vecchietta (1467-1472). Above the choir there is a copy of the stained-glass window designed by Duccio, now in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.

cappella san giovanni battista duomo

In the large circular eye, there are Virgin images in an almond surrounded by four angels, the Crowning of the Virgin, and the Death of the Virgin. Particularly amazing is the beauty of the floor made of marble, a unique work of Italian art for its rich detail and inventiveness. Still inside the cathedral there is the Piccolomini Library, built in 1492 to house the rich collection of books collected by Pope Pius II. The interior was frescoed by Pinturicchio with scenes from the life of the pontiff. A staircase in Piazza San Giovanni allows access to the crypt, whose walls are completely covered with frescoes of the 13th century. Best preserved are the scenes of the Passion of Jesus, including the Crucifixion and a Deposition from the Cross.

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Battistero di San Giovanni (Battistero del Duomo)

battistero san giovanniZona: Senese
Tipo: chiesa-battistero (14th secolo)

The baptistery is located at a lower level, exactly below the final spans of the choir of the Cathedral. It is accessed from the small square located on the back of the church. Carried out under the guidance of Camaino Creswell, works were completed in 1325. The façade, all in white marble, is in pure Gothic style. The floor in front of the portals has mosaics and marble graffiti linked to the ceremony of baptism. In 1417, the baptistery was enriched of the precious baptismal font, placed at the center, sculptural work to which contributed various artists including Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Giovanni di Turino, Goro Neroccio and Jacopo della Quercia. The frescoes on the vaults and apse are mainly the work of Lorenzo di Pietro, and depict scenes of the twelve articles of the Creed (1450) and from the life of Christ: the Annunciation, the Flagellation and The Way to Calvary, Descent into underworld, Pentecost, Ascension, The Last Judgement.

Church of San Francesco

chiesa san francescoArea: Siena
Type: church (14th century)

The church was built between 1326 and 1475 in Gothic style, but was restored in the 19th century. The plan of an Egyptian cross has a single wide nave covered with trusses. The 36 stained glass windows were created by Zettler glass factory in Monaco of Bavaria in the years 1885-1890. There are many valuable works kept in the church, in particular those within the eight chapels of the transept: the frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti Martyrdom of five Franciscan friars (1335), the Madonna and Child by Andrea Vanni (1398), the tomb marble to Christopher Happy rider, made by Urbano da Cortona in 1463.

Outstanding are also the marble bas-reliefs depicting the blessing of the cornerstone, St. Francis blessing the birds, and St. Francis appearing to Gregory IX, all dating back to the 13th century. Here were also relocated the frescoes that decorated Porta Romana. Along the walls of the nave, the flags of the historical districts of the city are on display. Next to the church is located the convent of San Francesco, dating back to the 15th century. It is currently used as a library of the University of Siena, and over 177,000 volumes and manuscripts are preserved there.

Church of San Domenico

chiesa san domenico1Area: Siena
Type: Gothic church (13th century)

Built in the 13th century, it was mostly built in Gothic style. After the earthquake of 1798, the bell tower, already in poor condition, was lowered and equipped with crenellations. In 1963, it was partially restored and given its gothic look back, with the addition of windows with the Stories of St. Catherine. The church has a severe and solid appearance and the façade is a hut, smooth and unadorned. The building has an Egyptian cross plan, with a single wide nave covered by exposed trusses and Gothic windows with stained glass. In the Cappella delle Volte, there is a portrait of St. Catherine of Siena considered true because the author, Andrea Vanni, was a religious devout.

A real gem is the Chapel of St. Catherine, in the Renaissance style (1466), where the head-relic of the saint is kept. The relic arrived in Siena in 1384, as a result of the pressing demands of the residents who wanted a tangible part of “their” holy. The frescoes in the chapel are the work of Sodom and Francesco Vanni. The church also presents a crypt in Gothic style that dates back to the 14th century. There, two valuable works are conserved: a crucifix by Sano di Pietro collocated behind the main altar, and the Crucifixion of Ventura Salimbeni (1600).

Sanctuary and house of Santa Caterina

santuario santa caterinaArea: Siena
Type: historic home (14th century) and sanctuary

The sanctuary incorporates the house of Santa Caterina, and is divided into various porches, arcades, churches, and oratories. The birthplace of the saint today faces Vicolo del Tiratoio. The complex is accessed via an ornate neo-Renaissance porch with busts of various popes who recognized the sanctity and importance of the woman. This room leads to the Church of the Crucifix, dating back to 1614, built to house the crucifix from which the young Catherine Benincasa received the stigmata in 1375. Various paintings of the 17th century depict episodes of the saint’s life. Opposite the church is the Oratorio della Cucina, originally the kitchen of the Benincasa family. Under the altar there are the remains of the hearth on which embers Catherine fell in ecstasy, but remained unharmed.

The Holy Brotherhood used the kitchen as a meeting room in 1482. Transformed into an oratory towards the end of 16th century, the place was redecorated. The altarpiece was painted by Bernardino Fungai in 1495 and depicts the Stigmata of St. Catherine with Saints Jerome and Dominic and St. Catherine in glory among the saints, in addition to the dais with stories of the saint’s life. From the loggia, stairs give access to another oratory, where there are paintings of the 19th century, by Alessandro Franchi and Gaetano Marinelli, depicting scenes from the life of the saint. On the altar, there is the canvas Stigmata of St. Catherine, by Girolamo di Benvenuto (early 16th century). Inside the oratory the cubicle is visible where Catherine was sleeping directly on the ground and with a stone ledge as a pillow. Further along is the Oratorio di Santa Caterina in Fontebranda (Oratorio della Tintoria), where originally the tintoria of the father of Catherine was located, that was converted into a church in 1465.

Basilica of Santa Maria dei Servi

San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi, Sienne, ItalieArea: Siena
Type: Monastery (13th century)

Construction began in 1250 on land donated by the Tolomei family. Work proceeded slowly and lasted nearly three centuries. By the middle of the 15th century, the transept and the terminals chapels in the Gothic style were completed. The façade is simple and rough, with a portal and two rose windows. The Romanesque bell tower dating from the 13th century, was restored in 1926. The plan of the church is an Egyptian cross, with a longitudinal body with three naves and five bays. In the walls of the aisles niches were obtained, with vaulted ceilings and paneled paintings, in which baroque altars were placed.

Among the many paintings inside the church, of particular importance are: the Madonna del Bordone, Coppo di Marcovaldo (1261), Nativity of Mary, by Rutilio Manetti (1625), Madonna of Belvedere, by Jacopo di Mino del furrier (1364 ), Madonna with the seven holy founders, Alessandro Franchi, and Massacre of the Innocents and the Madonna and Child with saints and patrons, both by Matteo di Giovanni (1491).

Monuments and places to visit in Siena

piazza del campoPiazza del Campo

Piazza del Campo

piazza del campo1Area: Siena
Type: historic square (12th century)
Address: Piazza del Campo

It is the main town square and it is located at a key point, from which the three main streets of the historic center branch off. Its special and original shell shape is renowned for its beauty and architectural integrity. The first document that mentions the space accommodation, then called “Field”, dates back to 1169. The square, with a circumference of 333 meters, is divided into two areas: Low, the central channel and the southern part, paved with vertically arranged bricks. The square is lined with historic buildings such as the Palazzo Comunale with the Torre del Mangia, the Merchandise Lodges, the Fonte Gaia. The square is famous throughout the world because, twice a year, it hosts the Palio of Contrade.

Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall)

palazzo comunale Area: Siena
Type: historic building (13th century)
Address: Piazza del Campo

The palace was built between 1298 and 1310 as the seat of the “Government of Nine”. For the construction bricks were used exclusively, with the addition of some elements in white marble for decorative purposes mainly. The extension to the right, including the area of the prison, was executed in 1327. It followed the construction of the Great Council hall (1330-1342), that, however, was transformed into a theater in the 16th century. The wide façade of the building is punctuated by the windows, all in the typical Sienese style: three side by side Gothic arches supported by columns. The coat of arms of Siena, the black and white “sock” was added between the arches and the main pointed arch of each window.

palazzo comunale1

At the center of the façade, there is a large disk depicting the trigram of Christ, created by San Bernardino of Siena and painted by Niccolo Baptist in 1425. Inside the palace, there are many works of art from various artists. This collection of frescoes, paintings and sculpture is an unrepeatable series of fundamental examples of medieval art, as well as an outstanding document of civil society in the 14th century. The left side of the building leads to the Cortile del Podestà, built in 1325, flanked on all four sides by large three-mullioned windows with pointed arches. The Palazzo Comunale is still today the city hall. On the first floor of the building the Civic Museum and the Municipal Theatre Rinnovati are located.

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Torre del Mangia

torre del mangia Area: Siena
Type: historic building and clock (14th century)

The bell tower of the City Hall is named “Torre del Mangia”, a name linked to the vice of the first guardian. It was built between 1325 and 1348 and, with its 102 meters, it is one of the highest among the old Italian towers. The four corners are perfectly oriented towards the cardinal points. Inside, there are stairs that allow you to reach the loggia where the bell is located.

The bell
Ricciardo master of Tingo forged the bell, weighing 6,764 pounds, in 1344. It remained functional until 1633, when it was recast and replaced. In 1831, the bell was badly damaged. Since the estimates were too onerous, it was decided on a minor renovation. This structural defect gives it a serious and hoarse sound, as when played by hand, and its usage is now limited to only the days of the Palio. In the tower, in 1360, a large clock was installed by Bartolomeo Guidi, then completely renovated. The last renovation works, carried out by the Sienese Giovanni Lorenzo Barbetti, date back to 1804.

The lightning rods
The Tower is of considerable height, and thanks to its metal mass constituted by the bell and its large amount of iron, the Torre del Mangia has always attracted a large amount of lightning. Until the second half of the 18th century, the electric discharge penetrated inside the tower, then crossed a long clock wire and was discharged in the vicinity. This, however, often caused damage to its system. For this reason, in 1776, under the direction of Domenico Bartaloni, professor of physics at the University of Siena, a conductor able to avoid (or at least minimize) the damage was installed. A metal chain was joined to the wire of the hammer beating the bell every hour, so that is also reached the clock. Here, an iron bar was placed to deflect the electrical discharge and convey it in an underground conduit. Only in 1996 it was decided to install a modern lightning security system, however, following the route of the 18th century.

Gaia Fountain

Area: Siena
Type: historic fountain (14th century)
Address: Piazza del Campo

Placed in the upper part of the Piazza del Campo, it is the most important public fountain in the city and dates back to 1346. The source, initially a simpler structure, was decorated with a series of sculptural reliefs commissioned in 1409 to Jacopo della Quercia and completed in 1419. In 1743 a citizen seriously damaged the decorative part. In 1859, the decision was made by Jacopo della Quercia to replace the entire part with a copy of Carrara marble. The highly damaged, original parts have been restored and placed in the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala Museum. The base has a rectangular basin, open to the Town Hall, surrounded by a high parapet. The two shorter sides are decorated by reliefs Creation of Adam and Expulsion of Progenitors. At the center of the back wall, the reliefs Madonna and Child Enthroned are surrounded by the Virtues and the Angels.

Piazza Chapel

cappella di piazzaArea: Siena
Type: church (14th century)

At the base of the Torre del Mangia is the Piazza Chapel, which dates back to 1352. It is a marble tabernacle dedicated to the Virgin as a thank you for putting an end to the plague (1348). The building, designed by Domenico di Agostino, endured for a long time. In 1376, under the direction of Giovanni di Cecco, the corner pillars were rebuilt several times, leading to its current appearance. The sculptures, included in gothic niches of the pillars were added only between 1378 and 1382 by Mariano d’Angelo Romanelli and Bartolomeo di Tomme, nicknamed Pizzino. In 1461, the simple protective canopy was replaced by Antonio Federighi with a line of Renaissance arches. The same artist also added the bizarre decor and old-style antiqued of crowning. The wrought iron gates, from the 14th century, are the work of Conte di Lello Orlandi and Pietruccio Betto.

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Chiasso di Sant'Ansano

chiasso santansanoArea: Siena
Type: historical street (13th century)

The old Sant’Ansano road is a covered street that goes from a small square at the foot of the hill, where the hospital is located, to the Corticella (small courtyard adjacent to the hospital). In the 15th century, the road was closed and covered with a vaulted ceiling becoming the internal sliding axis of the hospital complex. The recent and careful restoration has allowed recovering the original appearance of the road, as it appeared between the 13th and 15th century.

Loggia della Mercanzia

loggia della mercanziaArea: Siena
Type: historical building (15th century)

Also called Loggia dei Mercanti, it is located at the back of Piazza del Campo, in the Croce del Travaglio, the point where the Via Francigena (or Romea) crosses the main streets of the city. The lodge was designed by Sano di Matteo and built between 1417 and 1428 in a transitional style between Gothic and Renaissance. The vaults were hand-built and decorated in the 16th century, while the upper floor was added in the 17th century. In 1764, the hotel became the property of the Lords of the United Casino who settled there, thus making it the headquarters of the United Club, which is still active today. The lodge consists of three arches supported by ornate pillars, within, which are tabernacles with statues. Lorenzo di Pietro carved the two statues on the outer pillars depicting St. Peter and St. Paul in the years 1458-1462. The other three statues, all of which are works of Antonio Federighi, added between 1458-1459, depict three of the four ancient patron saints of the city: San Savino, Sant’Ansano, San Vittore.

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Chigi-Saracini Palace

palazzo chigi saraciniArea: Siena
Type: historical home (12th century)

It is one of the most prestigious palaces of the city, whose oldest part dates back to the 12th century. The façade is in elegant Sienese Gothic style, lined with stone and bricks on the first floor. The private art gallery “Bernardo Saracini” contains sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and paintings of important artists including Sassetta, Sano di Pietro, Matteo di Giovanni, Sodoma. The Palace houses the Chigiana Academy, a prestigious international center for musical studies of the city: San Savino, Sant’Ansano, San Vittore.

Salimbeni Palace

X5Area: Siena
Type: historical home (14th century) and art gallery

The building, dating back to the 14th century, is the historic seat of Banca Monte dei Paschi, one of the oldest banks in the world. It was originally the Dogana del Sale and, in 1472, it became the seat of the Monte Pio, set up to curb the widespread practice of usury. In 1866, another institution, the Monte dei Paschi, replaced the Monte Pio. This name was due to the fact that the bank granted loans by holding pastureland as collaterals and generated revenues in Maremma. The palace was restored and rebuilt in neo-Gothic style in 1877. Inside is located a specialized art Sienese painting gallery, with works by several major artists such as Pietro Lorenzetti, Sassetta, Francesco Vanni, Rutilio Manetti, the Rustichino, Bernardino Mei and Alessandro Franchi.

ART AND MUSEUMS

Museums in Siena

arte sienaArtists of Siena

Santa Maria della Scala Hospital and Museum

santa maria della scalaArea: Siena
Type: hospital and religious complex (12th century)
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 2

It is a complex of buildings that are part of one of the oldest and largest “hospitals” in Europe. Currently, it is at the same time, museum and exhibition center for artistic and cultural initiatives. The museum section contains a series of collections ranging from ancient to modern times, a number of important historical and artistic treasures that summarize the essence of the city and its history. The exhibition area consists of alternating spaces of various sizes and narrow corridors, labyrinthine tunnels dug into the tuff and large spaces with brick vaults. The “Scala” appellation is linked to a mixed tradition with legend. The “hospital” would be established after the mother of the cobbler Sorore, who then became monk and then beatified, had a vision: abandoned children were welcomed to Heaven.

More than likely, its nickname, which has been in use since the 12th century, is related to the location of the building, opposite to the Cathedral steps. The first building was built around 1090 in order to pursue charitable activities. Then, because the Via Francigena (or Romea) ran through the town of Siena, it became an important support structure to the pilgrims. In the following years, other buildings were added to the original one, including the church of the Santissima Annunziata, the Rector’s Palace to the right in 1290, and the Balìe House on the left in 1298, to name a few. The internal and external changes were followed in later centuries. In a fairly short amount of time, the establishment began to receive increasing donations, not to mention a large set of rural properties. Among the prominent personalities who carried out their charitable activities were both St. Catherine of Siena (second half of the 14th century) and St. Bernardino of Siena (15th century)

The hospital was fully operational until 1995, after which time restorations required for the transformation into a museum complex began. Of all the extraordinary artistic kits accumulated over the centuries only a small part is exposed inside: many paintings were placed in the National Art Gallery.

cappelle delle donne santa maria della scalaCappella delle Donne

Dating back to the 14th century, it is located at the entrance of the Hospital. It was built to be the pilgrimage reserved for women. The two inner bays were painted by Martino di Bartolomeo in the early 15th century with the Trinity between Saints Filippo and Lorenzo, and two works by Andrea di Bartolo, Crucifixion and Our Lady of Mercy.

Old sacristy

Also called Treasure Room, it was built in the 15th century for storing some valuable relics bought in 1359. Among them, the most important one is the sacred nail of the Cross (one of those used to crucify Christ). The relics are preserved by the works of craftsmen, made with precious metals, enamel and precious stones, and extraordinary historic, artistic and religious value. The vault and the walls of the sacristy were frescoed by Lorenzo di Pietro (1446-1449) with the articles of the Creed cycle, with references to New and Old Testament. There is also a fresco by Domenico di Bartolo (1444): Our Lady of Mercy (or Madonna del Manto).

Cappella della Madonna

Built in 1680, it presents a pictorial cycle by Giuseppe Nicola Nasini of the 18th century, entirely dedicated to Our Lady: Nativity of the Virgin, Presentation in the Temple, the Flight into Egypt, Coronation of Our Lady, the Virgin crowned by trinity and angels with instruments of the Passion. In the chapel, there is also the altarpiece by Matteo di Giovanni (1482), the Massacre of the Innocents.

ospedale santa maria della scalaChiesa della Santissima Annunziata

Located in the oldest part of the complex, it was originally the “hospital” chapel. The church itself was built in the mid-13th century and then completely transformed in the second half of the 15th. The interior has a nave with a wooden coffered ceiling. The church contains valuable works, such as the Assumption of Mary by Pietro Locatelli, Annunciation by Giovanni Maria Morandi and Vision of Santa Teresa di Ciro Ferri. In the apse, there is a large fresco by Sebastino Conca depicting the Pool of Bethesda (1731). Inside the church, there is also the prized bronze Christ by Lorenzo di Pietro (1476).

ospedale santa maria della scala1Pilgrims’ Hall

It is probably the most interesting and valuable space of the museum complex. The building was built in the years 1320-1330 to provide adequate shelter to pilgrims on their way to Siena. It was then renovated between the end of 14th and the beginning of the 15th century and then painted in the years 1440-1444 by various artists. The frescoes are an iconographic testimony, unique in Europe, of the hospital activity, with detailed representation of the clothing, objects and architectural designs of the era. The most valuable works are: Mother’s Dream of Blessed Sorore by Lorenzo di Pietro, (1441); Begging the bishop, Celestino III granted autonomy hospital privileges, government and care of the sick, distribution of alms, hospitality, education and marriage of a “daughter of the hospital” and Lunch of the poor by Domenico di Bartolo (1441-1444); Investiture of the rector of the hospital of the Oak Priam (1442).

Oratory of Saint Catherine of the Night

This is the place where St. Catherine of Siena was standing in prayer and brought comfort to the sick. Here, there is also the cubicle where the religious slept. In addition to numerous paintings, carvings, reliquaries and furnishings, the oratory is also decorated with the table, by Taddeo di Bartolo (1400), of the Madonna and Child with four angels and the saints John the Baptist and Andrew.

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Diocesano Museum

museo diocesanoArea: Siena
Type: Museum of Sacred Art

Set up inside the Oratory of the Company of San Bernardino, the museum contains an overview of Sienese paintings between the 14th and 17th century. The building has a brick façade, adorned with a travertine portal dated 1574. Among the supporting pillars is the important cycle of frescoes Stories of the Virgin, built between 1518 and 1532 by three prominent artists: Sodoma, Girolamo Pacchia, Domenico Beccafumi. In the lower level, there is the oratory of the 17th-century decorations, executed by Ventura Salimbeni, Rutilio Manetti, and others. In the niches, there are two sculptures of San Bernardino and Santa Caterina in white terracotta, dating back to the 16th century. In the museum, there are also works by other great artists such as Pietro Lorenzetti, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Lorenzo di Pietro, Rutilio Manetti, Bernardino Mei and others.

Civic Museum

museo civicoArea: Siena
Type: Art museum
Address: Piazza del Campo

The museum is located on the first floor of the Palazzo Comunale and presents many paintings and sculptures, all masterpieces of Sienese art from the 14th to the 19th century. In one of the first four rooms, the “Picture Gallery”, stands the preliminary sketch of the Madonna and Child with Saints by Sodoma (1537-1539). In the room “the Renaissance” there are frescoes and sculptures of the 19th century. Of particular importance are the works of Enea Becheroni, Giovanni Dupré, Emilio Gallori, Arnoldo Prunai, Tito Sarrocchi and others. In the room “the Balia”, there are frescoes of the Sixteen Virtues of Martino di Bartolomeo (1408) and Alexander Pope Life Cycle III by Spinello Aretino (1407). In the room of “the Cardinals”, there are frescoes that decorated the other rooms in the palace, all attributed to Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

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In a showcase are preserved relics of the ancient life of the town, including carved and inlaid boxes, capsules for votes. The “consistory hall” is accessed through a fine marble portal by Bernardo Rossellino (1448). In the hall there are allegorical frescoes by Domenico Beccafumi. The transit areas before the Chapel of the Palace, contain works of art, including the Madonna fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1340). The so-called Antechapel was painted by Taddeo di Bartolo (1415 approx). In a display case, master goldsmith works are exposed, such as the Golden Rose of Pius II, a masterpiece by Simone from Florence (1462). In the Chapel of the Palace are frescoes by Taddeo di Bartolo (1415 approx). In addition, the pipe organ, a work of Giovanni Antonio, also known as Piffaro, built in 1519, which is preserved with its richly carved chest and the original mechanics.

The largest and most famous room is the “Hall of the Globe”, also called “Council Hall”, where there are two large and important frescos: the Majesty, certainly the most valuable work of Simone Martini (1312-1315) and Guidoriccio da Fogliano at the siege of Montemassi (1330), which is also attributed to him. In the adjacent “Hall of the Nine” is the equally famous fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Effects of Good and Bad Government (1338-1339).

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Museum of Sacred Art of the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral (Duomo)

museo opera duomo1Area: Siena
Type: Museum of Sacred Art

The museum is located next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo). The collection includes works from the Cathedral, and among them stands out much of the artistic production of Duccio with the masterpiece “Majesty”. The museum entrance is preceded by a hall with architectural fragments and sculptures from both outside and inside walls of the Duomo. In the first room, there are reliefs dating back to the late 13th century, such as the Madonna of Forgiveness by Donatello, Madonna and Child, St. Jerome and Cardinal Antonio Casini by Jacopo della Quercia and, the façade of the cathedral, ten statues by Giovanni Pisano (1284 to 1296).

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On the back wall was placed the large stained-glass window made in 1287-1288 and dedicated to the Virgin, designed by Duccio. It is the oldest stained glass of Italian manufacture. An entire room is dedicated to Duccio. There stands the masterpiece Majesty, originally placed above the main altar of the cathedral. On display is another masterpiece, the Nativity of the Virgin (1342) by Pietro Lorenzetti; Finally, Our Lady of Crevole, an early work by Duccio. In the Hall of the Treasury the most valuable objects, reliquaries in particular and polychrome wooden busts are retained.

On the second floor is the room of the Madonna With The Big Eyes, so named after a panel of 1260 Maestro di Tressa. Here are some works by Sano di Pietro and by other major artists such as Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Domenico Beccafumi, Matteo di Giovanni, Luca Giordano and Sassetta. In the museum also exposed old vestments dating between the 16th and 19th century.

National Archaeological Museum of Siena

museo archeologicoArea: Siena
Type: archaeological museum
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 2

The museum, recovered and properly restored, was set up in the basement of the complex of Santa Maria della Scala. These areas are impressive, especially the underground medieval corridors. The museum displays archaeological finds and materials from excavations done in Siena and Chiusi, the oldest of which date back to the Bronze Age. Among the most prized objects are examples of Etruscan pottery with red figures, including a large crater with the Death of Aegisthus. Furthermore elements of architectural terracotta decorations, sarcophagi from the Roman period, alabaster urns and grave goods.

Pinacoteca Nazionale

pinacoteca nazionaleArea: Siena
Type: Art museum
Address: Via San Pietro

The Art Gallery, housed in the Palazzo Brigidi (15th century) and the Palazzo Buonsignori (14th century), consists of a core collection of works of art that essentially documents the evolution of Sienese painting from the 12th to the 18th century. The first rooms contain paintings made between the 12th and 13th century. Also included are the earlier works by Guido da Siena and Guido di Graziano (12th century). In the following rooms there are works of Duccio di Buoninsegna and his students, the Maestro di Badia a Isola and Ugolino di Nerio.

There are also rooms dedicated to Simone Martini and his students. Four exceptional masterpieces attributed to Pietro Lorenzetti are also exposed, as well as the works of many other prominent names – painters and sculptors – that have made the Sienese art: Sodoma, Domenico Beccafumi, Sassetta, Giovanni di Paolo, Sano di Pietro. The gallery also includes important works from the collection Spannocchi-Piccolomini, with artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Lorenzo Lotto, Padovanino and Johann König.

Tavolette di Biccherna Museum

museo tavolette1Area: Siena
Type: History Museums
Address: Via Rinaldini

The State Archives host documents that date from 736 A.D. to the present day. These include more than 60,000 scrolls, resolutions, artistic correspondence and records of the financial administration of the Republic of Siena and subsequent periods. Some of the most important documents are on public display. Among others the will of Giovanni Boccaccio and letters of Sodom and Jacopo della Quercia. There are also numerous documents about the city’s history, the saints, the commercial activities of the Palio, and the sieges. Finally, there are the statutes, the most famous of which are the Assumption Caleffo and the Statute of Merchandise. The Archive also contains a collection of Biccherna Tablets. They are the wooden covers of the books of the magistrates of Biccherna and Gabella, often painted by Sienese artists between 1258 and 1682. Some of these really unusual paintings are the work of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Giovanni di Paolo, Taddeo di Bartolo, Lorenzo di Pietro, Sano di Pietro, Francesco di Giorgio, Guidoccio Cozzarelli and Domenico Beccafumi.

Intronati Library

biblioteca intronatiArea: Siena
Type: Library (18th century)

It is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the city and dates back to 1758. The name comes from the Academy of Intronati, the literary center that was located here for much of the 18th century. The library contains about 500,000 volumes, including significant collections of manuscripts and incunabula. Among the rarest and precious works: a Ravenna 7th-century papyrus, a Latin version of the Epistles of St. Paul (11th century), signed letters of St. Catherine of Siena, and a rare edition of the Divine Comedy illustrated by Sandro Botticelli (1481). The library is divided into several thematic areas of consultation, as well as an area reserved for ancient books and manuscripts.

WHAT TO DO

Events

festa san roccoSan Rocco Fest

Palio delle Contrade

palio3Type: historical competition and folklore
When: July 2 and August 16

Piazza del Campo is famous because it hosts the Palio, one of the most well-known historical events, which is followed around the world. The competition is preceded by a series of preparatory events and a long parade. It is a race between horses, each representing the 17 historic districts in which the city is divided. The districts are Eagle, Caterpillar, Snail, Owl, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, Unicorn, Wolf, Nicchio, Goose, Wave, Panther, Woods, Tortoise Tower, Valdimontone. Jockeys mount horses without saddles. The competition consists of three rounds on the track that is set up in the square: the outer ring, paved with stone slabs, is sprinkled with a layer of tuff dust that allows horses to gallop at full speed. It is not uncommon that horses drop out of the race, particularly at curves (one of the most critical is the “curve of San Martino”).

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The ride is brief but unrestrained, often characterized by real duels between jockeys, who do not spare deceptions and ruses to embarrass rivals. It is the horse that is the real protagonist in this race and not the jockey. The horse, with or without a rider, that crosses the finishing line first, is the winner of the race, and brings glory to the district that it represents in the form of the “rag” (Palio), a handpainted silk drape.The jockey, although critically acclaimed, is considered the “conductor” of the horse. The devotion for the horses by the people of Siena is such that the names of the participating horses are never forgotten. For the horses that can no longer compete due to injuries or age, a retirement home was established in the countryside outside Siena. The most victorious horses are buried in graves and honored by the people of the district.

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Visionaria

visionariaType: Film Festival
When: April

It is an international festival dedicated to films and short movies. The purpose of the event is to give visibility to works of both already known professionals and new recruits, and to promote culture in general. In addition to the actual competition, people can also enjoy exhibitions, shows, meetings, conferences and workshops.

Terra di Siena Film Festival

terra siena filmType: cultural
When: September

It is a festival dedicated to the social and political independent films from around the world. The event draws attention to art films. It also spotlights international films and actors of international fame, such as Peter Greenway, Roman Polanski, Bernardo Bertolucci and others.

Sport

rugby

In Siena, many sports such as rugby, fencing, bowling, horseback riding, ice skating and field hockey are followed and practiced. The municipal racecourse and stadium are open to the public. The city also hosts the Strade Bianche, a cycling competition of a professional level.

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CULTURE

History of Siena

siena centro storicoTorre del Mangia

A glorious past and many traditions

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Siena was founded as a Roman colony at the time of the Emperor Augustus and was named Saena Iulia. The first document in which it is mentioned dates back to 70 A.D. The first feudal lord of the area was Count Lombard Winigi (9th century). In the 10th century, Siena was at the crossroads of many roads leading to Rome, first of all the Via Francigena (or Romea). It was also thanks to this fortunate position that this urban area grew into an important city in no time. In the 12th century, Siena began to expand its territory and to build the city’s first political alliances. During the same period, it became an important economic and commercial center: the city also had good relations with the papacy. Despite this, at the end of the 12th century, the political orientation of the city was clearly in favor of the Ghibelline party, sided with the Empire.

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This situation triggered a progressive competition with Florence, at the time a well-developed city and in which the Guelph party had won the majority. An armed confrontation was inevitable and the decisive battle took place in 1260 at Montaperti. The defeat of Florence was sharp and bloody, so much so that it has been long remembered by later generations (even the great poet Dante Alighieri mentions the event in the Divine Comedy). The following years, however, were characterized by the weakening of the Ghibelline party until, in 1287, the so-called “Government of the Nine”, of Guelph orientation, was formed. After the plague of 1348, the slow decline of the Republic of Siena began. Due to the Guelph political choice, imperial support vanished, and the city found itself facing a growing number of opponents, both internal and external. Among the last, Florence was the most dangerous, where the “first citizens” Medici had become Dukes in 1530 with the full support of the emperor. In 1532, in the last gasp of independence, Siena drove out the imperial garrison.

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The war against Florence was inevitable and, in 1554, Charles V’s militias entered the territory of Siena and then took over the city. In April 1555, after a siege of more than a year, the city was exhausted by hunger and was forced to surrender. The new emperor, Philip II, gave Siena and its territories (about a third of southern Tuscany) to the Medici family as reimbursement of the costs of war. Initially they were administered separately under the Duchy of Siena (or New State). Later came the complete integration of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. From then on, Siena followed the fate of the Tuscan State until the Unification of Italy.

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Curiosity

Siena coat of arms

stemma siena

The coat of arms of Siena is called “balzana” (sock). It is a shield divided into two horizontal bands of equal height: the upper one is silver, the lower black. According to tradition, it symbolizes the black and white smoke of the pyre that the legendary founders of the city, Senio and Ascanio, sons of Remus, lid to thank the gods. Another legend says that the sock is linked to the color of the horses, one white and one black, that the two brothers used in the escape from Rome, because their uncle wanted to kill them.

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Films shot in Siena

film

Siena was used for the filming of various movies. Among the most internationally known are:

. Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Franco Zeffirelli (1972),
. Eyes closed by Francesca Archibugi,
. Tea with Mussolini by Franco Zeffirelli (1999),
. 007-Mark Forster’s Quantum of Solace (2008 ),
. Virgin Territory-not you taste … it bites! David Leland,
. The Last Victory by John Appel,
. Letters to Juliet Gary Winick.

The ghost of the Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden of Siena is thought to be haunted by a ghost who also had the honor of being the star of a theater piece. The author Giulio Cogni, who lived near Orto, was indeed an eyewitness of this specter. There are other testimonies, precise and reliable, regarding the sound of chains, small nightly campfires, apparitions of long cloaks, wisps running, doors slamming violently, stones being thrown at pursuers and onlookers. These sightings mostly happened during the 1950s.

According to the sightings, the spirit is reported to be a certain Giacomo. Others believe that it is the restless spirit of Andrea Ardengheschi, who died in the Battle of Montalcino after having broken a vow made to Saint Andrea. A more imaginative tradition is a Camaldolese monk who, in the garden of the convent, had buried a treasure taken from the soldiers of Napoleon. The monks would have killed them rather than reveal the location of the treasure and his restless soul would remain to protect and guard it.

The miracle of the Sacred Particles

sacre particole

In 1730, a ciborium with 351 pieces of Sacramental bread (wafers) was stolen. Three days later, they were found in the poor box of the nearby church of Santa Maria di Provenzano. For hygienic reasons it was decided not to use the wafers during the celebration of Mass as the box was full of dust and cobwebs. After more than 280 years, the wafers are still intact, in spite of the natural degradation that was supposed to turn them into dust within two years. Chemical and biological analyses also confirmed that the wafers, unchanged in appearance, were composed of unleavened bread flour. They were also free of bacteria, mites and molds, which instead had attacked the inner walls of the box. The Catholic Church attributes this supernatural phenomenon to the real presence of Christ in the hosts, in full harmony with the Eucharistic dogma. The wafers are kept in two different chapels, respectively, in the right transept during the winter months and in the left one in the summer, inside the church of San Francesco.

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Torre del Mangia

torre del mangiaTorre del Mangia has inspired many other architectural projects with three buildings constructed in various parts of the world. The most famous ones being: the clock tower Joseph Chamberlain Memorial, (nicknamed Old Joe) at the University of Birmingham, England, the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, United States of America, the tower of “ICADE” clock in Madrid, Spain. The building probably more faithful to the original is the tower of the Pine Street Inn in the South End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts (USA). It is 156 meters high, designed and built (also in brick like the original) in 1892 by Edmund March Wheelwright. It was originally a watchtower for the local fire station.

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GASTRONOMY

Typical  food

Siena has a centuries-old culinary tradition, perhaps due to the prosperity in the medieval period and the presence of numerous inns and points of hospitality along the Via Francigena. Among the best-known specialties are the following:

piciPici: thick spaghetti made by hand, originating in the Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana. They are served with meat sauce or garlic.

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arrosto mistoArrosto misto: It is a set of different meats including sausages, “cutlets” (cost) pork loin of veal or beef.

RRibollita: the name comes from the fact that if heated several times after the first firing, the flavor constantly improves. It is a vegetable soup with beans that is laid on slices of stale bread rubbed with garlic. The main ingredient is a black cabbage, available during the colder growing season.

Typical desserts: panforte, ricciarelli, cavallucci, tiramisù.

Particularly known and appreciated are the characteristic “Ricciarelli”, made from almond paste sweets. Loved by connoisseurs, is also the “gingerbread”, an ancient dessert made with honey, almonds and pepper.

Typical Products

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Wine

Chianti, Chianti Classico, Chianti Colli Senesi, Chianti Superiore

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TOURIST SERVICES

Where to sleep in Siena

Hotel

Hotel degli Ulivi ****

Via A. Lombardi, 41 – 53100 Siena
Phone: +39 0577 5755
www.hotelsienadegliulivi.it
info@hotelsienadegliulivi.it
Services: 143 rooms with amenities, fitness room, sauna, bar, restaurant, wi-fi, 5 meeting rooms for up to 250 seats.

Hotel Athena * * * *

Via P. Mascagni 55 – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577 40900
Services: 100 rooms (220 beds), comfortable, spacious, elegant, with panoramic views and complete with all comforts, large private parking.

Hotel Garden * * * *

Via Custoza, 2 – 53100 Siena 
Phone: + 39 0577 40900
Services: Surrounded by a large park of oak trees, the Villa of 1700 is among the most refined and elegant historical dwellings of the city. Placed in the Villa and 3 dependences, the Hotel Garden has 125 rooms furnished either in an elegant modern style, others in classic style and features antique furniture.

Jolly Hotel Excelsior * * * *

Piazza la Lizza 1, 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577 40900
Services: 129 rooms with all the comfort of recently renovated, restaurant, bar, fitness center and 4 conference rooms which can accommodate up to 230 people.

Hotel Palazzo dei Priori * * * *

Strada di Montalbuccio 31 – 53100  Siena
Phone: + 39 0577 40900
Services: 75 rooms equipped with all modern comforts, restaurant, bar, garden and private parking – shuttle service to the center of Siena – Country Tours on request. Best Western Hotel Palazzo dei Priori is a modern property, located only a short distance from the Siena – West and at 2000 meters from Piazza del Campo and the Duomo, ideal for both business travelers and couples weekend.

Hotel Arcobaleno * * *

Via Fiorentina, 32/40 – 53100 Siena 
Services: the hotel is housed in a lovely villa from the 19th century on the outskirts of Siena.

Hotel Antica Torre * * *

Via di Fieravecchia 7 – 53100 Siena
Services: The hotel is located in a 15th-century tower house. The decor in old Tuscan style, the rooms are all equipped with private bathroom, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, hairdryer. The hotel is located in the historic center of Siena.

Borgo Grondaie * * *

Strada Delle Grondaie 15 – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577 40900
Services: located in an old Tuscan farm just 2 km from the historic center of Siena, it maintains the characteristics of the rural environment. It offers its customers the possibility to choose between hotel and apartments accommodations both furnished in Tuscan style and equipped with every comfort. At guests’ disposal there is a saltwater swimming pool open during the summer.

Albergo Chiusarelli * * *

Viale Curtatone 15 – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577 40900
Services: The property is located a short walk from Piazza del Campo and in front of the Basilica of San Domenico. It’s located in a villa in a completely renovated neo-classical style in keeping with the original style of the hotel Chiusarelli offers rooms with bathroom / shower, terry towels, hair dryer, TV-satellite, telephone, safe and air conditioning, restaurant, bike rental and internet point.

Il Pettirosso * * *

Via Petriccio e Belriguardo 97 – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577 40900
Services: The location of “Pettirosso” features a stunning panoramic view of what once was the famous Via Francigena, crossed by merchants and pilgrims in the Middle Ages – outdoor swimming pool open in summer.

Hotel Italia * * *

Via Cavour 67 – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577.40900
Services: 66 rooms with private facilities, satellite color TV, direct dial telephone, hairdryer, mini-bar and safe. modern and informal structure enhanced by recent refurbishing works, bar, satellite TV room, internet point and a small private car park. During the summer, free access to swimming pool and tennis courts at 600 meters distance.

Hotel Minerva * * *

Garibaldi 72 – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577.40900
Services: 59 rooms with bathroom, telephone, color TV, safe, air conditioning, mini bar, laundry service, fast internet facility, meeting room and parking. The bedrooms have a view on the historic center of Siena.

Hotel Moderno * * *

Via B. Peruzzi, 19 – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577.40900
Services:  63 rooms with private bathrooms, air conditioning, hairdryer, direct dial telephone and color TV.

Hotel Palazzo di Valli * * *

Via E. S. Piccolomini 135 – 53100 Siena 
Services: Hotel Palazzo di Valli is a gorgeous villa of the 18th century, with spacious rooms and decorated in old Tuscan style.

Hotel Vico Alto * * *

Via delle Regioni 26 – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577.40900
Services:  47 rooms with private bath, TV, air-conditioned restaurant offers typical Tuscan cuisine also ideal for banquets and ceremonies, TV room, gardens.

Hotel Villa Belvedere * * *

Strada Senese – località Belvedere – 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577.40900
Services: 15 rooms with private bathrooms, decorated in style with telephone and satellite TV, private parking and swimming pool. Large Italian garden, reserved area with aromatic plants that are used to prepare dishes. Possibility to eat breakfast and main meals in the garden. Hotel Villa Belvedere is ancient villa of 1700, the place of residence of Archduke Ferdinand III of Austria and the Grand Duke Leopold II located at 15 km from Siena.

Hotel Villa Liberty * * *

Viale Vittorio Veneto 11 – 53100 Siena Tel: + 39 0577 40900
Services: 18 elegantly furnished rooms with private bathroom, hairdryer, satellite TV, telephone, air conditioning, high-speed Internet access. The Hotel Villa Liberty is at a 10 minutes’ walk from Piazza del Campo. The hotel is located in a villa of the early ‘900 and still retains the charm and atmosphere of an old private residence.

Farmhouse

Agriturismo San Fabiano – Monteroni d’Arbia (SI)

agriturismo-san-fabiano-vista-panoramica

Via San Martino, 168 – 53014 Monteroni d’Arbia (Siena)
Tel.: +39 0577 372079 / cell. +39 348 6023821
www.sanfabiano.com
info@sanfabiano.com
Services: farmhouse furnished with Tuscan-style rooms with whirlpool baths, 20 beds, heated pool with a solar shower, pool towels and bathrobes, garden, parking, cooking classes, drawing and ceramics, bike tour in the Crete Senesi, nature trails, kosher hospitality
activities: horse riding, cycling, badminton, electric organ, billiards, darts, board games, chess
Activities for children:   football, swings, slides and play houses for children, ping pong, tricycles

Agriturismo San Fabiano is immersed in the fabulous Crete Senesi, south of Siena, near the town of Monteroni d’Arbia, in the land of Michelangelo.The farm hosue is the oldest building in the San Fabiano estate, built in 1750.It is located just 20 minutes from the treasures of Siena and many other charming towns and villages, wineries and restaurants, historic sites and events. It is easily reached by car or any means of transport. We offer the perfect location for your vacation in Tuscany, to relax, explore or both! It is the only agriturismo with a kosher hospitality and meals; ideal for families with children.

The villa is ideal for family meetings or with friends, accommodates up to twenty people, in five housing units with 4 beds each. All with air conditioning and heating and wi-fi, included in the price. The large communal areas such as the dining room for 24 people with full kitchen in a beautiful atmosphere with vaulted ceilings and exposed bricks is ideal for gatherings, even for weddings or events for a limited number of people.

History of the Florentine counts
San Fabiano agriturismo - Monteroni d'Arbia - SienaCount Filippo Fiorentini and his wife Rachel welcome you in their villa with a delicious bottle of Sangiovese wine! Both have left their city life to live in the Tuscan countryside. Philip was CEO of a French multinational in the field of public works throughout Italy. He was the President of the Union of Engineers and Architects of Rome. Rachel fell in love with Tuscany many years ago, and she loves the less hectic pace than when she was Project Manager, in order to savor life with locals and the healthy Mediterranean diet. Philip is a Rotarian in the Rotary International Club of Siena, Rachel is a member of the Inner Wheel International Club of Siena. Their son David is the President of Interact Rotary Club of Siena.

 

 

Cooking lessons Tuscan cuisine

Minimum:  4 people
Reservations required: yes
Join the cooking class if you are at least with a group of 4. On Tuesday in Monteroni d’Arbia there is the weekly market with many local products. Cook a complete dinner with the chef in our beautiful kitchen, and learn to make fresh pasta. At dinner, in the 18th-century hall, you are served excellent wine and can listen to good music!

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Historic house

 Palazzo Coli Bizzarrini * * * * *  

Piazza Gramsci 27 – 53100 Siena
Phone: +39 0577 40900
Services: Francesconi Palace is a historical building dating from the early 16th century. Since 1906 owners are Messrs. Coli Bizzarrini. The palace “of particular historical interest” is located in the center of Siena.

Palazzo Fani Mignanelli * * *

Via Banchi di Sopra 15, 53100 Siena
Phone: + 39 0577 40900
Services: characterized by tastefully furnished interiors and a friendly and family atmosphere, each room treated in detail has been conceived as a small oasis equipped with every comfort; Breakfast is served in the charming dining room or on request, in the room at no extra charge.

Where to eat in Siena

Restaurants

Ristorante Guido

Via Beato Pier Pettinaio, 7  – Siena
Phone: +39 0577 280042
Services: typical Sienese cuisine, selected wines from Tuscany.

Ristorante Il Duomo

Via  Fusari Numero, 19 – Siena
Phone: +39  0577 287556
Services: traditional  cuisine with a careful selection of ingredients cooked with care. Among the delicious dishes, they serve “pici” with wild boar, veal tenderloin with porcini mushrooms and fresh fish specialties. Recommended are the pizzas, the thematic evenings with tasting of typical and fine wines.

Ristorante Al Mangia

Il Campo, 42 – Siena
Phone: +39 0577 281121
Services: typical Tuscan cuisine based on meat and fish, overlooking Piazza del Campo, comfortable American café bar with rich liquor menu, many of which are difficult to find.

Ristorante da Mugolone

Via  Pellegrini, 8 – Siena
Phone: +39  0577 283235
Services: Restaurant located just steps from the Piazza del Campo and the Cathedral. Typical Tuscan cuisine specialties which are: tagliatelle Siena, truffles and mushrooms (porcini) in season, stewed kid and fried mixed Tuscan, Florentine on the grill, cut garlic and rosemary, baked vegetables, fried vegetables in season. Choice of DOCG wines – closed on Thursdays and Sunday evenings. Reservations recommended.

Ristorante Spadaforte

Il Campo, 13 – Siena
Phone: +39 0577 281123
Services:  typical Tuscan cuisine, seafood, pizza at lunch and dinner, ample menu of Tuscan wines – booking recommended.

Ristorante Gallo Nero

Via  del Porrione, 65/67 -Siena
Phone: +39 0577 284356
Services: Tuscan cuisine, medieval recipes from the ‘300 and’ 400 and Siena DOC wines. The restaurant, located 150 meters from Piazza del Campo, features a medieval banquet hall and stays open until late at night.

Taverns

Osteria del Coro

Via Pantaneto, 85 – Siena
Phone: +39  0577 222482
Services: dishes prepared according to ancient traditions of Sienese cuisine, paying particular attention to the raw materials used, always first choice, and cold cuts from Cinta Senese meat to cart oils DOP Terre di Siena and the Chianti Classico, the pecorino cheese of the Crete Senesi Pienza to the always fresh pasta, venison from the cut of beef and homemade desserts. Excellent wine list, with good proposals for a tasting cup. Kitchen open until late at night; Reservations are recommended. On reservation, fresh fish dinners according to the catch of the day.

L’Osteria

Via dei Rossi, 79/81 – 53100  Siena (SI)
Phone: +39 0577 287592
Services: Local located near the Piazza del Campo, Siena Tuscan cuisine specialties