Surrounded by olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti, Siena is one of the most prettiest cities of Tuscany famous for its large fan-shaped piazza. Piazza del Campo is the heart of the town and is the home to the famous summer horse-race, known as Il Palio.
Siena is about 60 km south of Florence near the center of Tuscany in the Chianti Wine Region and about 3 and half hours by train from the Cinque Terre. Siena’s peak was about 1260-1348 when it was one of Europe's wealthiest cities and many of its buildings and art works originate from that time.
Where to stay in Siena
Our selection of the best places to stay in Siena is a broad mix with something for all tastes and budgets. Don't forget to book well in advance: The 10 Best Hotels in Siena.
How to reach Siena
By plane: The nearest airports are Pisa International Airport, 100 km from Siena, and Florence International Airport, 60 km from Siena.
By train: From Florence (Firenze) in 1 hour 30 minutes, on the Firenze-Empoli-Siena line. From Pisa in 1 hour 45 minutes, on the Pisa-Empoli-Siena line. From Rome in 3 hours, on the Roma-Chiusi-Siena line.
By car: If you are doing a round trip around Italy, renting a car can be a great alternative to relying on public transportation. The easiest way is to rent a car directly at the airport upon arrival. Car rental in Italy.
Itinerary by car: From Florence you can take the scenic route SR 222, often referred to as the Tuscan Highway, which takes about 1.5 hours. From Pisa take highway A12 (Firenze - Pisa - Livormo) and follow the signs towards Siena. From Rome highway A1 and then direction E78 for Siena.
Things to see
Piazza del Campo is the heart of Siena. Il Campo is paved with brick and ringed by cafes, restaurants, and historic buildings. Narrow medieval streets lead to the piazza, which has an unusual fan shape. Piazza del Campo was originally the Roman forum and later was Siena's main marketplace.
The Gaia Fountain of Jacopo della Quercia is one of the most important works of the Italian 1400s and is both Gothic and Renaissance in style.
The Palazzo Pubblico, Siena's Gothic town hall building, and the Torre del Mangia (bell tower) dominate Piazza del Campo. Great view from the top of the tower.
Piazza del Duomo is another beautiful square and home to Siena's Duomo. The impressive Duomo has a black and white facade with intricate carvings and statues.
Siena's art museum, Pinacoteca Nazionale, houses some of Italy's greatest paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries.