Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for Siena, Italy

September 2015

Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for Siena, Italy

Siena may be an overlooked destination when planning a trip to Italy but after reading this I hope you consider adding it. Getting to Siena is easy from Florence – we ended up taking a bus and it was painless. More than anything, Siena has the preserved history and culture that has a foundation and commitment to tradition.

The event Siena is most famous for is the Palio di Siena – a bareback horse race that takes place twice a year in July and August in the Piazza il Campo. It is extremely competitive between the neighborhoods, known as Contradas, that I can best describe as houses in Game of Thrones. Throughout the city streets while climbing the hills of Siena, it is impossible to miss the Contrada flags and decor, marking their territory and displaying their pride. We visited September just after the second Palio race and there is still much to discover in Siena so if you cannot make it for one of the races, it is still worth the visit.

No matter where you stay, you will be climbing up and down the hills of Siena so it will be hard to find a place to stay that avoids the walking. We stayed at Hotel Alma Domus (don’t ask but the name reminded me of Albus Dumbledore) and it afforded us the most beautiful view of the cathedral from our window (the photo in the post).

What is there to do?

One of the best things about Siena is getting lost in the streets as you climb up and down the hills – allow yourself that time of discovery as the city is so beautiful!

  • Santa Maria Cathedral – more than just the cathedral (which is gorgeous), there is also crypts, a museum, and baptistery to visit. There is also the opportunity to climb to the roof and get the most spectacular view of Tuscany. If you are interested and have time to visit all of these, consider buying the the OPA+ pass.
  • Civic Museum – we were so suprised by this stop as it had us engaged for several hours – visitors learn about the history of Siena and its contradas and we were fascinated
  • Treat yourself to a food tour – we chose Tuscan Wine School’s Savor Siena and it was a great way to get a lay of Siena, enjoy the food specialties and learn more about the history and culture
  • Climb Torre de Mangia at Piazza il Campo – amazing views at the top of the bell tower but start early to avoid large crowds 
  • Plan a day trip to Montalcino wine region to taste incredible Brunello – this wine is the highest form of sangiovese you will fine in Italy and visiting here on our first trip to Italy completely changed the wine game for us

Where to eat?

Here are our favorites that we recommend to anyone visiting Siena:

  • Taverna di San Giuseppe for dinner – in a cave, truffles, amazing staff, do it
  • La Vecchia Latteria for gelato – I think we stopped here every day
  • Pasticceria Bini for pastries – the best place to get Siena specialties!

Here is the complete itinerary! 

Activity 
Day 0 Afternoon Arrive in Siena
Evening  Piazza il Campo
Day 1 Morning Santa Maria Cathedral
Afternoon Walking Tour – Savor Siena with Tuscan Wine School
Evening Santa Maria crypts, museum, and baptistery
Day 2 Morning  Torre de Mangia at Piazza il Campo
Afternoon Civic museum

Santa Maria del Scala

Evening
Day 3 Morning Day trip to Montalcino wine region 
Afternoon
Evening
Day 4 Morning Depart

Read the full trip details here!

If you have been to Siena before, let me know what I missed and what your favorites are!

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