Day trip to Siena
Day trip to Siena (about an hour by car from Castelvecchi) - Recommended excursion
From Castelvecchi it is possible to reach Siena in about an hour by car, easily taking both the provincial road and the Florence – Siena motorway junction.
The city of Siena is universally known for its artistic heritage and for the famous Palio which is celebrated every year.
The historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995, retains a valuable stylistic unity of medieval urban furniture.
Below are some useful suggestions for spending a day in Siena and seeing the most evocative places.
Let’s start with Piazza del Campo, where the Palio di Siena takes place, with its particular shell shape, overlooked by important buildings such as the grandiose Palazzo Comunale, in red brick and white marble.
Inside the Palace many masterpieces by Sienese artists are kept, including Simone Martini’s Majesty and Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Good and Bad Government.
Immediately near the Palazzo, your gaze will be captured by the majestic Torre del Mangia, one of the highest in Italy and from whose top you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city and the Sienese countryside. On the other end of the square is the monumental Fonte Gaia by Jacopo della Quercia.
From here we then move on to the Siena Cathedral.
The internal architecture in Romanesque-Gothic style is characterized by a splendid floor with marble inlays depicting 56 different scenes. Important works of art are conserved in the Cathedral, including the beautiful pulpit by Nicola Pisano with its particular octagonal shape. From the left aisle you can also admire the Libreria Piccolomini with frescoes by Pinturicchio.
Near the cathedral is the Baptistery with the large hexagonal baptismal font, completed by various artists including Donatello.
The Catherinian Church of San Domenico holds the Sacred Head, a venerated relic of St. Catherine of Siena.
Among the museums to visit in Siena, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo which exhibits the Maestà by Duccio di Buoninsegna, the Pinacoteca Nazionale with works by Simone Martini and Duccio di Buoninsegna.
But if the time available does not allow us to enter the Museums, we will be consoled by the fact that simply strolling through the alleys of Siena is a bit like walking through the history and tradition of this city: each neighborhood represents a contrada of the Palio, the whose coat of arms is often hung on windows or doors.