In the Chianti region of Tuscany, medieval Siena boasts a rich historic legacy, fashionable restaurants, chic boutiques, elegant town houses, and great views from its delightful setting across three hill tops. More restful than Florence and Venice, Siena boasts a great artistic heritage providing visitors with a rich cultural experience. Siena holidays are the perfect choice of destination for a leisurely city break.
Founded by the Etruscans and then colonised by the Romans, Siena, in contrast to Florence’s strict Roman city plan of urban organisation, features haphazard, traffic-free streets straggling up towards ridges of three hilltops. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site the city boasts fantastic gothic and medieval architecture alongside galleries displaying classic and Renaissance art there is an abundance of places to visit on holidays in Siena. The glorious surrounding area also offers visitors on Siena holidays something special with numerous charming hill towns nearby.
Dominating the heart of the city is the immense Piazza del Campo: divided into nine fan-shaped sections, this square is a medieval representation of the governmental body known as the Council of Nine. Nowadays ‘Il Campo’ is famed as the location of the world -renowned, and thrilling, Palio horse racing. Held in twice a year in July and August it is definitely worth enjoying if on holidays in Siena at that time.
Gastronomy must feature highly on any Tuscan visitor’s agenda, and Sienese cuisine is sure to delight with its combination of succulent flavours and intense aromas. There’s local wild boar sausage, traditional pici pasta, a thick hand rolled pasta served with various sauces, and delicious roasted and grilled meats; all complemented by excellent local Chianti and Brunello wines, a delight for those on Siena holidays. Sticky spiced fruit and nut cake, panforte, and sweet ricciarelli almond cookies, are delightful regional specialities.