Siena’s main attractions.
Piazza del Campo
The “Campo” in Siena is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in the world. It has a unique shell-shape, formed by 9 wedges, which can be best admired from on top of the “Mangia” tower.
Since the 14th century, the Campo is the heart of Siena’s life, hosting the town hall as well as the city’s most important festivities and celebrations such as the renowned “Palio” horse race.
The town hall and the “Mangia” tower
Facing the Capo, Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico (town hall) is a building of rare beauty and one of the most significant examples of medieval public architecture in Italy.
Part of the building is still serving as town hall, while the most interesting rooms from historical and artistic points of view have been converted into a museum that is home to masterpieces of medieval art such as the “Buongoverno” fresco and other frescos by some of the most important authors of its time.
The town hall is flanked by a contemporary 88m-high belfry, popularly known as the “Mangia” tower, which is open to visits and offer a breathtaking view over Siena and the most beautiful Tuscan landscape.
The Dome of Siena
After the magnificence of the Campo, one may ask what Siena can still offer to delight its visitors.
The Duomo is the answer. Besides its splendid gothic façade, characterized by polychromic marbles, portals, statues and beautiful decors, the interiors are such a beauty to have impressed visitors as Giorgio Vasari, who defined its pavement “the most beautiful and magnificient ever made”, and Richard Wagner, who broke in tears at its sight and described it as the strongest impression he had ever had from a building.
The Dome and the annexed museum also enshrine many masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arts, such as the works of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Michelangelo, Pinturicchio, Donatello and others.
The entire historical core of Siena is one of the best preserved and most beautiful medieval towns in Europe, designated by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage.
Just taking a stroll around is per se a wonderful experience. Besides, some other highlights may include the “Pinacoteca Nazionale” museum (one of the most important collection of medieval paintings in the world), the Santa Maria della Scala (historical hospital, now converted into a museum, with beautiful frescos), the Chigiana music academy in the Chigi-Saracini palace, the museums of the 17 “contrade” (districts in which the town is divided, which compete in the Palio) and many other attractions which would be too long to enlist.
Not to say of the local cuisine, wines, typical products… And the nice people!
Just visit it, and it will remain among your most precious travel experiences.