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Why Visit Siena, Italy

Without a doubt, Florence is stunning. It's one of the gorgeous Italian cities that can be found in the "must-see" list of every traveler. And even if this fact only proves the cultural and historical significance of Florence, it also means a lot of visitors. And when you decide that even though you are not ready to say "good-bye" to Tuscany and you need a break from the crowds and the bustling energy of the most known city of the region, Siena is exactly what you need.

This small Italian town seems like it was frozen in time or escaped the pages of a history book. Even during the summer months, it's way less crowded than Florene (but just as spectacular), the October - November months are truly every adventurer's dream. And although it seems like nothing can be better than just wandering around its cozy narrow streets, surrounded by the red-brick walls and small Italian cafes, Siena won't let you aimlessly walk for long. There are plenty of gorgeous medieval buildings scattered around the town, and you won't be able to resist having a closer look every time you stumble upon one. 

And the Duomo of Siena is definitely the most remarkable of them all. At some point, people believed that the church will overshadow even St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The stunning 13th-century cathedral is a real head-turner, but even if it seems impossible, the facade of the church is not the most impressive part. The exterior is spectacular, but on the inside, the Duomo of Siena is just breathtaking. The walls are made of the black and white marble, inside you can find paintings, frescos, and sculptures of various brilliant artists, including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, and the absolute treasure - the cathedral's floor mosaics made out of colored marble. And don't forget to check out the statues of the gargoyles on the facade of the building!

The remarkable Piazza Del Campo is the heart of the town and is the main landmark of Siena, together with the beautiful Torre del Mangia. Keep in mind that to enjoy the terrific views of the city from the top of the tower, you'll have to climb 400 stairs, but the reward is definitely worth the journey.

Also, make sure that you haven't missed the Civic Museum and the Biblioteca Piccolomini during your Siena travel. The first one offers to marvel at a great collection of medieval and Renaissance art, including the gem of the museum, the "Good and Bad Government" cycle of frescos by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. And although there are barely any books in the library left, its interior is a work of art.

Best Things to Do During a Siena Tour

  • Take a picture of the Duomo of Siena
  • See the Palio di Siena
  • Enjoy the views of the city from the Tower of Mangia
 

If you plan your Siena itinerary in July or August, don't miss the Palio di Siena. The famous horse race takes place on the main square of Siena, Piazza del Campo, covered in a layer of sand for the occasion. 10 riders, representing ten city wards, have to circle the square three times and although the race itself usually ends within two minutes, visitors are invited to enjoy the Corteo Storice, the famous parade taking place before the race.

 

And if you suddenly feel like being one on one with nature during your Siena trip, it will take only a couple of minutes to get to the countryside from the city walls and enjoy a long walk along the vineyards and olive trees, outstanding views, and the hot Italian sun.

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