Looking for what to do in Siena?
There are so many things to do in Siena, the stunning medieval city located in the Tuscany region of Italy. Steeped in rich history, with an amazing cultural heritage and a wealth of fascinating landmarks, this is a great destination for travellers looking to discover Italy. With a lively atmosphere and traditions, any trip to Siena is a unique, unforgettable experience.
The Historic Centre and Cultural Treasures of Siena
With a historic centre that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a treasure trove of cultural, historical and architectural gems, there are so many things to do in Siena. Why not start at the Piazza del Campo, one of Italy’s most stunning squares? With a unique shell shape, the beautiful architecture makes this a true cultural treasure. The magnificent Gothic Cathedral – Duomo di Siena – is a masterpiece of medieval architecture and art, featuring works by artists like Michelangelo, Donatello, and Pinturicchio, making it one of Italy’s most significant religious buildings.
If you’re looking for jaw-dropping panoramic views of the city, head to the Palazzo Pubblico, a historic town hall dating back to the 13th century. -The Torre del Mangia, a lofty tower right next to the palace, has incredible views from the top. Meanwhile, the former hospital complex, Santa Maria della Scala has been converted into a fascinating museum and cultural centre, displaying archaeological artifacts, religious art, and frescoes from the Renaissance period. And not only does the Basilica of San Domenico boast stunning frescoes and artwork, this beautiful church is also home to the preserved head of Saint Catherine of Siena, one of Italy’s patron saints!
There are so many cultural delights to enjoy in Siena, and one of the best ways to do so is by strolling around and taking in the gems on display to even the most casual tourist. The historic centre is divided into 17 neighborhoods, or contrade, each boasting its own unique traditions and identities, which are an essential part of Siena’s cultural heritage, so get walking!
Culinary Delights of Siena
Any visitor to Italy knows that they’re going to be in for some serious foodie tourism, with culinary traditions that are the envy of the world. Tuscany and Siena are an important part of this renowned gastronomic culture, with dishes that are based on the region’s love of simple ingredients and incredible flavours.
Pasta is, of course, a big part of the food culture. Pici is a thick, hand-rolled pasta, with a rustic, chewy texture, often served with traditional Tuscan sauces like ragù (meat sauce), or Pappardelle al Cinghiale. This is a wide, flat pasta that goes spectacularly well with a hearty wild boar ragù. Siena is also known for its saffron production, and its saffron risotto, made with arborio rice, is to die for. Always topped off with some local Pecorino Cheese sheep’s cheese of course – a nutty, tangy delight. Another Tuscan delight is Ribollita, a hearty Tuscan soup made with bread, cannellini beans, vegetables like kale or cabbage, and a delicious, tomato-based broth. The perfect comfort food during cooler months.
Siena also has some fabulous sweet treats, like Panforte, a traditional Sienese fruitcake made with honey, nuts, candied fruits, and spices, which is traditionally brought out at Christmas. To finish a meal, a traditional Cantucci crunchy almond biscotti served with a glass of Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine from Tuscany, is an excellent combination! And on the subject of wine, no visitor to Tuscany should leave without trying world-famous Chiantis, Montepulcianos, Brunello di Montalcino and Vernaccia di San Gimignano, the fruit of this proud wine-making region – Cheers!
Outdoor Activities and More things to do in Siena
Siena is naturally breathtakingly beautiful, and there are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors and take in its natural delights. One of the best ways is simply by hiking and trekking through the rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves, or renting a bike and cycling one of the many routes and paths that cater to different skill levels. For the less energetic among us, why not take a wine tour through the Chianti or Montalcino wine regions, visit the beautiful, historic vineyards, learn about the traditions, and try some of Italy’s finest wines? Or visit an olive oil mill and taste some Tuscan liquid gold? Sounds like a great plan!
Other ways to make the most of the Siena landscape is with a hot air balloon ride over the rolling hills and iconic villages, taking in the panoramic views, or by visiting one of the equestrian centres that offer guided horseback tours through the vineyards and olive groves, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region. Golf lovers shouldn’t feel left out either, with plenty of courses including the Royal Golf La Bagnaia – a perfect way to practise your stroke while appreciating the beautiful surroundings.
Visit all the things to do in Siena with us
Siena beckons with a tapestry of experiences that weave together history, culture, and charm. As you traverse the cobbled streets, stand in awe of architectural marvels, and immerse yourself in the local flavours, you’ll find that Siena is more than a destination; it’s an enchanting journey. So, pack your curiosity and embark on a voyage of discovery in this captivating Tuscan gem. Explore the best things to do in Siena and let its magic leave an indelible mark on your heart. Your adventure awaits—seize the moment in Siena!