Day 1 in Siena

Welcome to Siena, a medieval gem located in the heart of Tuscany, Italy! Upon arrival, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do!

Start your afternoon at Piazza Del Campo. Regarded as one of Europe`s greatest medieval squares, the architecture surrounding this square is simply stunning, and it`s a UNESCO World Heritage Site! If you come during the right time of year (the 2nd of July or the 16th of August) you can witness the Palio di Siena here, which is a good old-fashioned horse race!

The Piazza del Campo is bordered on one side by the Palazzo Pubblico and the other sides contain restaurants, cafes, and bars. During the day the umbrellas come out creating a perfect undercover location for a leisurely afternoon lunch and we recommend you to do just that, relax and take in the ambiance.

After lunch, start exploring at the Palazzo Pubblico located right in the square. Back in the middle ages, this served as the Republic of Siena`s government building. Now it houses their civic museum and fresco collection, which you can tell is very impressive. This museum houses art that used to be in the Duomo of Siena, including a number of statues by Giovanni Pisano. The works of art in here are absolutely stunning!

For a phenomenal view over the city and countryside, climb the 335 ft narrow Torre del Mangia`s spiral steps up to this view-point. This tower was built between 1338 and 1348 and proudly stands at one end of the Palazzo Pubblico.

Next, visit the Visit the Duoma di Siena, or Siena Cathedral, a stunningly beautiful, mostly white 13th-century medieval cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and one of the most popular Siena attractions. The beautiful facade gives way to an impressive interior.

Included in the entry ticket is a visit to the Piccolomini Library, a impressive room containing beautiful frescos. Because with gorgeous frescos plastered on the walls, this library is more of an art museum than a bibliophile haven. Nevertheless, it is well worth the visit!

Interestingly, since Siena is built on a hillside, the baptistery is actually built right underneath the Siena Cathedral! Just like the Cathedral above it, the Baptistry displays stunning architecture.

Finish off your day with a delicious Tuscan meal at one of the many charming restaurants in town. Afterward, explore some of the quaint winding streets of Siena. They are filled with shops and charmingly photogenic.

If energy allows, take in some of the nightlife of Siena. It can get very lively thanks to the many students from all around the world that populate the city. From the classic wineries to breweries, from bars to the trendiest clubs, there is something for everyone.

Day 2 in Siena

Wake up early today to continue your tour of the beautiful town of Siena. Start off with a visit to the Basilica of San Domenico. Like all good Italian towns, there is more than one impressive church in Siena. Right up on the hilltop is the Basilica of San Domenico, also dating from the 13th Century. Originally a gothic building, fires, earthquakes and general renovations have left it a strange mish-mash of styles. This church is where many of the relics of Saint Catherine of Siena can be found, including a huge painting of her on one wall. Nearby you can also visit her house, the Santuario di Santa Caterina.

Afterward, take a walk around the city. It is possible to walk all the way around the city following the ancient city walls. If you have a few hours, then walk the whole loop, but if you don`t have the time, walk a section. It is also possible to get up on top of the walls for a scenic view at Fortezza Medicea.

In the afternoon, spend some time enjoying lunch at one of the charming cafes in town before making your way to admire the Fontabranda. This is a must-see medieval fountain made by Jacopo della Quercia that would have been used for not only the town`s water supply, but to bathe in too! It is famous for being mentioned in Dante`s classic book `Infomno`. Now it is filled with crystal clear water and some big fish. It is said to still be safe to drink from, but that`s up to you to decide.

Spend the last part of your day enjoying the museums of Siena, there are quite a few great ones to choose from. The Santa Maria della Scala is one museum housed in an old hospital building originally treating pilgrims and the poor. In the 1330s Santa Maria della Scala commissioned many important interior and exterior frescoes as well as several significant altar pieces. The whole complex host several museums with splendid monumental areas. The museum is spread over four floors.

There are many different combinations of tickets that can be bought if you wish to see more than one museum, so keep this in mind when considering where to go. One option is the Siena Pass, but there are other combinations on sale at the ticket offices.

For dinner, an alternative to dining out that we recommend is to take a cooking class. The region of Tuscany is famous for it`s food and wine, and Siena is the perfect opportunity to learn to cook just like the locals. There are some great classes offered with a professional chef to guide you along the way, or to cook with a local Cesarina in their own home.

Additional Days in Siena

If you`re finding yourself with an extra day to spare, we recommend taking a wine tour of the area. Tuscany is so well know for it`s wine that you cannot leave the region without learning (and tasting) why. Take a day trip from Siena to visit the vineyards and taste some of the local Italian wine. There are many options, from tours to certain areas, combinations with food, combnations with local historical sights, private or with a group, the options are endless.

If you are in Siena on a Wenesday, make sure to check out the markets set up around the Fortezza Medicea area. There is a huge variety ranging from clothing and accessories, shows, household good, and food. The best time to visit is in the morning, but it can get quite busy, with both locals and visitors all searching for bargains.

Your Last Day in Siena

Depart your hotel for the airport for your return home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer, if so a representative will meet you at the hotel, in time to take you to the airport for your flight out.