Reasons to Visit Siena, Italy

Siena is a charming Tuscan city that’s less crowded than Florence
Siena is a charming Tuscan city that’s less crowded than Florence | © Henk Meijer / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Francesca Masotti
2 September 2021

Ask anyone who has travelled through Tuscany, and they’ll likely tell you Siena is their favourite city in the region. There are many reasons for this; it’s romantic, small, full of beautiful Medieval buildings and less crowded than Florence. Here are our top reasons to visit Siena.

Interested in visiting Siena? It’s just one of many beautiful destinations featured on Culture Trip’s 10-day small-group Northern Italy tour, led by our local insider.

To learn more about the city’s history

Architectural Landmark
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Basilica of San Domenico, Basilica Cateriniana, Siena, Tuscany, Italy
© Stefano Paterna / Alamy Stock Photo

Siena has a long history, dating to the Etruscan era, but the main development happened during the Middle Ages. If you’d like to capture all that storied past in one go, head for the hills that surround the city. From here, you can admire the unique urban skyline, with its collection of monuments, palaces and churches. If nothing else, it’s one of the prettiest cities in Italy.

To climb to the top of Torre del Mangia

Architectural Landmark
Map View

It may not be as famous as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but the Torre del Mangia, inside the Public Palace in Piazza del Campo, is the most recognisable landmark in town. To reach the top, you have to climb 400 steps, but the views of the town and countryside are spectacular.

To taste Sienese food

Building, $$$
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La Prosciutteria Crudi e Bollicine, Siena
Courtesy of Numero Unico
Once you taste the traditional dishes of Siena, you will fall in love with them. Try pici, pasta similar to spaghetti but fatter and served with pepper and cheese or a tomato sauce. Siena is also famous for desserts; seek out ricciarelli, a traditional biscuit made with almonds.

To savour the wine

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SAVE WATER, DRINK WINE! The Cantina Pulcino - a picturesque enoteca with restaurant - in Montepulciano (Siena -Tuscany - Italy).
© M@rcel / Alamy Stock Photo
It’s no secret Tuscany is home to the best wine in Italy. Siena is no exception. The city sits between the Chianti region and Montalcino, so it’s heaven for wine enthusiasts. Wherever you go in the province, there are different wines to try – just ask for a suggestion at one of the local bars or restaurants.

To visit Val d’Orcia

Natural Feature
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© Brian Jannsen / Alamy Stock Photo
When you picture Tuscany, you may imagine rolling green hills with a lone cypress on the horizon. This kind of breathtaking landscape is common in Val d’Orcia, perhaps the most picturesque area in the region. Just south of Siena, it is filled with Medieval castles, hilltop towns, charming rural farmhouses, rows of vineyards and cypress trees.
These recommendations were updated on September 2, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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