Hangzhou might not immediately come to mind as a top place to visit in China. However once one stops… more>>
The many faces of Tuscany are equally thrilling and beautiful, but at the same time each is unique. Our recent passage through the hallowed hills of this living painting of a countryside included a stop in beautiful Siena. It is a town of impressive history, architecture, food and festivals.
Like many Italian towns the first thing on the horizon that will capture your gaze are the towers of impressive churches. Siena is certainly full of them. Among the most recommended are the Duomo, the cathedral or principal church of any self respecting medieval Italian town. This black and white marble patterned building has many things to explore: impressive floor mosaics, baptistry, a “new” section that was unfinished in the original structure. Various passes from 4-20 Euros allow one to visit the various museums and sections of the cathedral complex.
The Basilica of San Domenico is a marvelous gothic church that has impressive interior artwork and marble. It houses some of the remains of the town’s most famed resident St. Catherine an advisor to the Medieval Popes.
The Fonte di Fontebranda may be one of the world’s most interesting fountains located just near the San Domenico basilica. It is a fortress shaped stone structure with ornate arches and carvings covering various pools of water supply. It certainly looks like it could withstand any siege and makes for a lovely attraction.
Palazzo Publico is the city’s seat of governance which goes back to the time of flourishing this city enjoyed in the middle ages. The museum inside is well worth the tour to see the opulence and artistry that reflects many of the ideals of the government that were in vogue when this structure was built.
The pulse and center of Siena takes place in the Piazza del Campo. It is subdivided into 9 sections which represent the 9 ruling powers of the city during its golden years. One of the most iconic events of the Italian summer is the Palio horserace which is run right through the square as different neighborhoods are represented.
The torre del Mangia is the fascinating 400 step structure that is well worth the climb with views of the city and surrounding countryside.
This is of course the hotspot of the city for food, drink and people watching, but we assure you there are magnificent wine shops, restaurants and aperitif locations found in all the side streets and back alleys of this charming city.