One of the cities I had always dreamed of visiting is Siena in Tuscany – Italy. Therefore, I decided to discover this ancient historical city on my honeymoon. We stopped for a couple of days there, which gave us plenty of time to visit it since it is a relatively small town. Let me tell you a bit about our experience in Siena.
How to Get to Siena
We headed to Siena by direct regional train from Florence. It took us about 1 hour and 30 minutes to arrive to Siena’s train station. I would definitely recommend you to take the train to enjoy Tuscany’s beautiful sceneries. Once there, you can take the bus, a taxi or have a 25-minutes walk to the city center. However, if you have luggage, the taxi would be the best option. It will cost you a maximum of 10 euros to the center.
Where to Stay
Being on our honeymoon, we pampered ourselves at the Grand Hotel Continental Siena which is the only 5-stars hotel in the city and is located at the heart of the center, within the shopping streets. However, there are a lot of other hotels at the same proximity. When searching for your stay, I recommend you to choose a place near the Piazza del Campo where all the magic happens.
Where to Eat
One of the best restaurants you can eat in Siena is Antica Osteria da Divo. It is a little bit farther than the center but you can still have a walk there. The restaurant looks like a stone cave and is very rustic which, to my taste, goes along with the architecture of the city.
Once seated, you will be served several exquisite homemade hot breads: focaccia with rosmary, focaccia with bacon and bread with red onions.
Then, you will be served a small apetizer, courtesy of the restaurant. We had a refined cod-fish ball.
As a first course, I ordered the risotto with mushrooms, served in a pecorino wheel and I can assure you it was one of the best risottos I have ever had.
Risotto Being Served in the Pecorino wheel Risotto in the Pecorino Wheel
However, as a second course, I had a pork roll stuffed with spinach and served with potatoes among other various vegetables which was delicious as well.
For what concerns prices, I would say they are fair considering the service, the taste and the quality, not to mention the size of the portions which are abundantly enough for me.
Finally, I definitely recommend Antica Osteria da Divo and I would love to go and try some other dishes.
What to Do in Siena
1- Visit Piazza del Campo: The Heart of Siena
Piazza del Campo is famous for hosting a bi-annual horse race. It is an almost circular piazza where people can relax enjoying the sun and kids can play freely. On the borders of the piazza, you can find souvenir shops as well as bars and restaurants. We once grabbed a coffee, sat on the floor in the middle of the piazza and enjoyed its beauty along with locals.
2- Visit the 6 Steps of Santa Caterina’s Life
a- Basilica of San Domenico
One of the things we enjoyed best is the Basilica of San Domenico in which Santa Caterina (St. Catherine) used to pray and where her relics are kept. We also discovered that Santa Caterina is the patron of Italy as well as Europe.
b- House of Santa Caterina
It’s where Santa Caterina lived most of her life. There’s a small chapel, a closed well and a nice view.
d- Salita del Costone
The Salita del Costone is the stairway where Santa Caterina had her first vision when she was only 6 years old.
e- Battistero and Scalinata of San Giovanni
The Battistero is where Santa Caterina was baptised. And the Scalinata of San Giovanni is marked by a cross on one of the stairs. This specific stair is where Santa Caterina fell due to a temptation of the devil.
Stair Marked by a Cross Battistero San Giovanni
f- Oratorio di Santa Caterina della Notte
The Oratorio di Santa Caterina della Notte is where the saint used to pray at night. The place is marked by her picture on the wall.
3- Medicea Fortress
The Medicea is a huge fortress 10 minutes away from the city center by walking. Once up there, the Medicea is a perfect place for jogging, photoshooting, picnics, romantic dates, yoga sessions… It has a 360° view on all over Siena. Nearby, you can find a fountain that changes colors every couple of seconds.
4- Go Shopping
The streets at the center of Siena, near the piazza del campo, are packed with shops of all brands, bars, gelaterias, pastry shops…
5- Eat Panforte: Siena’s Traditional Dessert
The Panforte is a traditional Sienese dessert containing dry fruits, nuts and cinnamon. We grabbed ours at the most famous Caffetteria Nannini. Trying it is a must.
This said, I hope you enjoyed this post. For more cities to visit, delicious recipes, and kitchen tips, check out the rest of my blog, and don’t forget to follow me on social media, links below and on your right.