Last year, images of Siena could make us all weep. Normally, this old city is brimming with life and happiness, so empty streets seemed simply wrong.
Luckily, Italy is opening up, and Siena shines like a proper jewel of Tuscany again. If you’re a repeat visitor, you know what amazing sights and foods await you. If this is your first time, here are the places that you must not miss.
Piazza del Campo, perhaps the most beautiful piazza in Italy?
Where: Smack dab in the center of Siena, can’t miss it.
When: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as long as you don’t patronize any establishments.
Budget: Free, unless you start shopping around, get hungry, or decide to up the Torre del Mangia.
If you have only one day to spend in Siena, this is your must-go-to location. Pretty much, even if you don’t move more than a mile from that spot, you will get to experience the lifestyle, people watch, visit a few sightseeing hotspots, and have some delicious food.
Even without moving an inch, the piazza is a sight to behold. It’s frozen in time, all the way to the pre-Renaissance times. There have been a few additions over the centuries here and there, but it’s mostly left looking untouched. And fortunately for all of us, the people of Siena love their piazza and they have all preserved it for us over the centuries so we can admire its beauty.
Once you find yourself standing there, you would not get surprised if you were to see someone in a historical costume – what’s more, a sight like that could even fool you into thinking you have gone back through time.
This is also the place where everything happens. If the city is holding a public fair, celebration, or festival, it will happen there. So, if you plan your trip anywhere around those big dates on the calendar (both secular and religious), you are in for a treat.
Try La Prosciutteria in Siena.
Where: Via Pantaneto 89, near Piazza del Campo
When: Every day from 10 AM to midnight.
Budget: Price s range from 4 to 25 Euros per item.
Warning, this is not a restaurant! Okay, that was a bad April Fool’s joke since the Siena location is one of the few that offer in-house dining. Some other places? They just pry you with their delicious fare and send you on your mary way.
If you love your prosciutto (and other Italian deli goodies), you must come to La Prosciutteria. You’ll be welcomed with a perfect combination of fine and casual dining – fine in terms of some of the finest food that will ever grace your mouth, and casual in terms of atmosphere.
On the menu are cutting boards, cold cuts, and different types of Tuscan wines. Sometimes they host special events and tasting parties. However, you may need a reservation to enjoy all of this these days (reservations at +39 577 42026 and firstname.lastname@example.org). They also offer delivery through UberEats or if you give them a call (if you are not able to secure a table during your visit).
And if you loved what you had for your lunch/dinner/special tasting, you can buy and bring most of those delicious morsels back home with you.
Well Try Pretto in Siena too.
Where: Via dei Termini4, between Piazza del Campo and Piazza Tolomei
When: Every day, from noon to 9 PM
Budget: The cheapest item is about 3 and the most expensive one is about 25 Euros.
Okay, definitely another not-vegan-friendly recommendation, but what’s there else to say? Siena has quite a few awesome prosciuterrias.
However, that is very much not advised. The entire place is bathed in amazing aromas – even the most disciplined would break their diet and/or their budget if they stay for too long. Pick up your food and sit as far away if you want to stay safe!
If you still want to risk it, call them at +39 0577 289089 or send them an e-mail at email@example.com for a booking.
All joking aside, come at least for their prized Lampredotto sandwich or Tuscan focaccia. They are also very well known for their Pinsa Romana: a delightful taste of Italy that will change your view of pizza forever.
Then Visit Palazzo Pubblico and Torre Del Mangia
Where: Right across Piazza del Campo
When: Palazzo Publico is opened from 10 AM to 7 PM. Torre del Mangia is closed between 1:45 to and 2:30 PM for sanitation.
Budget: Individual ticket is 10 Euros, the family ticket is 22 and 25 respectively. Free access for children under 11 and reduced tickets are available. Note that you need to get separate tickets for each location, or get a combined ticket for 15 Euros (valid 2 days).
Palazzo Pubblico serves as mucipal offices of Siena. However, if you are not interested in getting a building permit or conquering the city from within, you may be interested in the Civic Museum.
The museum is located on the first floor of the palazzo and it’s a must-see for any history buff. Even if you take a moment just to take a peek at the 13th and 14th-century frescoes, it will be more than worth it. But if you want to get your money’s worth, use this visit as your time-travel portal through Siena’s history.
Then climb up the Torre del Mangia. This tower is the highest secular structure, and only the 3rd tallest in Italy (from this time period). If you are willing to make a climb of 280+ feet, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful view of the whole of Siena.
Keep in mind that, due to the current restrictions, only groups of 12 can go up the Torre del Mangia every 45 minutes. You can call ahead (+39 0577 292342) to make sure you can grab a spot. Also, both the Palazzo and the Torre are closed down or close early during public holidays, so check your travel dates and plan accordingly.
Before you leave for Italy, check out http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/covid-19-updates-information-for-tourists.html for all up to date information for tourists. Please, also be respectful of each establishment’s guidelines and restrictions.
Travel safe, and have fun.