Siena City Guide

The wife and I regulary visit the continent, and have visited the stunning Italia, Italy three times before. Florence, Rome and Venice had all left a lasting impact on our hearts, so with our love for all things Italian we decided that once again we would go back to Italy however this time to the hilltop town of Sienna. It had been six years since our last visit to Italy, but we did not expect much to have changed. We enjoy driving to our destinations so that we can experience the full change of culture as we travel so we packed up the Mercedes and headed off. We were staying in a hotel in the heart of the city, and before we knew it we arriving at the little magestic town.

The scenery and buildings as we approached certainly did not disapoint, and we found our hotel with relative ease. Our first eveing was to be an easy and romantic one, and whilst walking round, smelling the many flowers that brighten the town, while we indulge in the local ice cream, our hearts certainly did beat that little faster.

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The next day our sightseeing would begin, and after a full hearty continental breakfast and fabulous fresh coffee we headed off. The town sits on a hilltop and at each side the landscape and buildings are very different. We started off by the castle, which sits next to the local Soccer Pitch, home to Sienna FC. The castle houses a museum and the grounds are very well kept. One can walk around the outer walls and the view is breathtaking. Joggers use the castle walls as their “track” and how lucky they are to experience the views each day. Outside the castle is a small park with monuments and statues. We walked away and towards the old town, but not until we stopped to taste the local coffee from one of the many small Italian coffee houses.

The old towns heart beat is the main square which is home to the tower and townhall. It is also where the well known horse race is performed. Shops enclose the circular square and children play while couples sit and enjoy the days sun. It is certainly one of the prettiest squares I have visited.

A walk out of the square and up past some of the most cutest quaint shops, and you reach Il Duomo, the Cathedral, and it is certainly breathtaking. The size, colour and the huge round stained glass window which centralises the building is worthy of any cathedral. We paid our money and entered. Once inside, the interior does not let this masterpeice down, and for the few euros we paid to enter, it was certainly worth it. The square also houses two museums and you can also go to the top of the tower next to the Cathedral, unfortunately, heights are not my fortei, so I pushed my wife past and we headed off. Walking back down from the cathedral one will find themselves lost in the beauty of the roads and winding passages, however the town is not that large, where one should be worried.

Another interesting part to the city is a stairlift they have for the older people which takes you down the steepest part of the town and to the old water house. Plays are still performed at this location. The water house was once the main supply for the town and is split into three parts. One was for washing, one for the animals to drink from and the third for cleaning. The town is also home to many fine churches, and days roll by as you enjoy the splender the town has to offer. Sienna certainly did not let Italia down, and I for one, certainly can not wait to visit this fine country once more.

Sent in by
James Thomas Martin
Bath. U.K

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