How to get there, places to visit and so on…
“A unique work of art, which has no parallel in our western world ... one complete animal with head, heart, arteries, legs, of which the skeleton remains almost intact, filed on three hills”. (Bernard Berenson)
Reach Siena from La Falconara
From La Falconara, one must go back to Montepulciano, and when you have reached the traffic lights, turn right down the road by the side of the Santa Agnese Church. Always straight for 2 kilometres, right after the ESSO station, you will notice a sign on your left for Torrita di Siena. By the way, at the bottom of that road you may see the sign for Montefollonico, which may come handy to know. Keep going ahead and after Torrita, follow the signs for Sinalunga. Once inside the town, you will find an intersection with an underpass on your right... Turn there, and right after the pass, keep your left. Stay on that road until you come to a round about. Turn ¾ of the way and follow the signs for Siena. You will be on a 4 lane, no toll highway. When you reach Siena, follow the signs for Firenze, and then for Siena Sud. As you look for the city, at first down in the plain and then as you go uphill, follow the indications for the various parking lots (example, Duomo).
Churches and monuments
Some visiting places are a must: the palazzo of the Main Post Office, although it may seem curious..., is an extraordinary example of renaissance architecture, and very close from there, the church of San Domenico, of noticeable size and importance, and then down the main street (corso) you may admire on your left the head office of the Banca dei Monti di Paschi di Siena, founded 20 years before the discovery of America..., another renaissance palazzo of great beauty and elegance.
Then follows everything which might seem obvious, such as: Piazza del Campo, the very famous square with the shape of a shell..., the Torre del Mangia, with more than 300 steps to the top of the bell tower, and in that square, Palazzo Piccolomini (the famous Tuscan family which gave the Catholic Church Pope Pius II, from Pienza), and then further on the headquarter of the Accademia Chigiana, and the Pinacoteca Nazionale, on the right side of the again famous Duomo. And right there almost in front of the Duomo, the Complesso Museale Santa Maria della Scala, or Palazzo Squarcialupi, which constantly presents important and very well organized exhibitions, which change from time to time (www.santamaria.comune.siena.it). We suggest you don’t miss the birth place of Saint Catherine, with it’s two small chapels, a place of meditation for anybody. However, we believe that one day is not sufficient..., but there is always the hope to come back.
Where to eat
Caffè Pasticceria Giannini
For a cappuccino and a slice of the famous cake for Siena, the Panforte Margherita, don’t miss Caffà Nannini, along the Corso.
Via Banchi di Sopra, 24
53100 Siena SI
Telefono: 0577 236009
Nearby, a not common restaurant, Ristorante Guido, and you might think you are in a place for tourist, because of the many many photographs a known people around the world hanging on the walls. Instead, one can still eat good Tuscan food.
Vicolo Beato Pier Pettinaio, 7
53100 Siena SI
Telefono: 0577 280042
Just outside Porta Camollia, try the restaurant Enzo, for excellent fish.
Via Camollia 49
53100 Siena SI
Telefono: 0577 281277
The Palio is not a resurrected event, organized for tourism: it is the life of the people of Siena in time and in different aspects and feelings. It has ancient origins with some regulations still valid since 1644, when it was over the first prize with horses, as well as still happens, in unbroken continuity. The territory of the city is divided into seventeen contrade with the borders established in 1729 by the Notice of Violante of Bavaria, Governor of the City. It is held every year on July 2nd and August 16th. It 's very difficult to get tickets ...
Siena is divided into Districts. You will see that every street is marked by the flags of the membership district. It is a deeply felt tradition. The 17 districts are: AQUILA, BRUCO, CHIOCCIOLA, CIVETTA, DRAGO, GIRAFFA, ISTRICE, LEOCORNO, LUPA, NICCHIO, OCA, ONDA, PANTERA, SELVA, TARTUCA, TORRE, VALDIMONTONE.
To come back
To come back, drive back to the same four lane highway and follow the indications towards Arezzo – Perugia. Always straight eastwards, keep going to Perugia, and take exit Sinalunga..., and then Montepulciano. Siena is about 60-65 Km. away, one way.