Day tour of Siena
(approximately one hour by car from Castelvecchi Farm)
From Castelvecchi Farm, an agritourism in Radda in Chianti, it is possible to reach Siena in approximately one hour by car, travelling along either the provincial road or the Firenze - Siena motorway.
The city of Siena is renowned worldwide for its artistic heritage and for the famous Palio, a very special horse race, which is celebrated every year.
The historical city centre, listed as cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1995, preserves a valuable stylistic unit of medieval urban furniture.
In the following we give you some useful suggestions on how to spend a day in Siena and see the most evocative locations and landmarks.
We begin with Piazza del Campo, where the Palio of Siena is run, with its unusual shell shape and important buildings such as the majestic Palazzo Comunale, with its red bricks and white marble.
Inside the building many masterpieces by Siena artists have been preserved, including the Maestà (Majesty) by Simone Martini and the Buono e Cattivo Governo (Good & Bad Government) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
Right near the Palazzo, visitors’ glances will be caught by the striking Torre del Mangia, one of the tallest in Italy which offers a breathtaking view of the city and the Siena countryside. On the other end of the Palazzo, the monumental Fonte Gaia by Jacopo della Quercia is located.
From here we move on to the Duomo (Cathedral) of Siena.
The internal architecture in a Romanesque-Gothic style is characterised by a spectacular marble floor, portraying 56 different scenes. The Duomo preserves important artworks, including the beautiful pulpito (pulpit) by Nicola Pisano with an unusual octagonal shape. From the left nave it is possible to admire the Piccolomini Library decorated with frescoes by Pinturicchio.
Near the Duomo, the Battistero (Baptistery) with its large baptismal fountain in a hexagonal shape can be found, completed by various artists including Donatello.
In the Cateriniana Church of San Domenico, the Sacra Testa (Sacred Head) is preserved, the revered relic of Santa Caterina of Siena.
Museums worth visiting in Siena include the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo which holds the Maestà (Majesty) by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Pinoteca Nazionale (National Art Gallery) with works by Simone Martini and Duccio di Buoninsegna.
If however you don’t have enough time to enter the museums, you can be consoled by the fact that a simple walk along the laneways of Siena is a little bit like taking a walk through the history and tradition of this city. Each district represents a contrada of the Palio, and their crests are often displayed on the windows or doors.