Siena is a lively city in Italy that boasts a UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center. With roots tracing back to the Etruscans, Siena has been inhabited by the Romans, Lombards, and Franks throughout its long history. The city was once part of the Republic of Siena before falling under the control of Philip, King of Spain, and later the Medicis and the Duchy of Tuscany. In 1861, Siena finally became part of the unified nation of Italy.

While simply strolling through the city can be an entertaining way to spend a day, Siena offers a wealth of significant sites and attractions for visitors to explore.

Piazza del Campo

The heart of Siena is the Piazza del Campo, the main square where locals and travelers gather. Twice a year, the city’s contrade (districts) compete in the Palio di Siena, a unique horse race held in the piazza. Shaped like an amphitheater, the Piazza del Campo offers a 360˚ view of medieval buildings, including the Palazzo Pubblico (City Hall) and the Torre del Mangia.

People Watching and Relaxation

The Piazza del Campo is the perfect spot to relax, enjoy a coffee or a meal, and watch the world go by. The square is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it a popular gathering place for both locals and visitors.

Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia

Palazzo Pubblico

The 13th-century City Hall, located next to the Torre del Mangia in Piazza del Campo, once served as the government offices of the Republic of Siena. Inside, visitors can explore the Museo Civico (Civic Museum) and admire the 14th-century frescoes that decorate the walls.

Admission Prices

  • Regular admission: €8.00
  • Reduced rate for reserving in advance: €7.50
  • Combo ticket (purchase at the Torre del Mangia ticket office): Museo Civico + Torre del Mangia = €13.00

Torre del Mangia

Standing at approximately 285 feet tall (or 335 feet if you include the lightning rod at the top), this 14th-century bell tower is the defining landmark of Siena’s skyline. Visitors can climb the tower for a panoramic view of the city.

Admission Prices

Tickets for the tower must be purchased at the Torre del Mangia ticket office.

  • Regular admission: €8.00
  • Combo ticket: Museo Civico + Torre del Mangia = €13.00

Il Duomo di Siena

Also known as the Duomo Vecchio (the Old Cathedral), the Cathedral of Siena is another impressive architectural gem. Dating back to the 13th century, the Duomo is filled with fantastic architectural details and sculptural works by renowned artists such as Bernini, Donatello, and Michelangelo.

Duomo Nuovo

The unfinished expansion of the Old Cathedral, which was intended to become the New Cathedral in the 14th century, offers a panoramic view of Siena from the top of the archway.

Battistero di San Giovanni

Located behind the Duomo, the 14th-century Baptistery of Saint John features beautifully frescoed walls and a famous baptismal font.

Museo dell’Opera del Duomo

Housed in the Duomo Nuovo, the Duomo Museum holds a collection of sacred relics and religious art.

Other Notable Sites

Basilica di San Domenico

This 13th-century church on the hill is dedicated to St. Catherine of Siena. It houses artwork related to the saint’s life and is best known for the shrine and reliquary containing St. Catherine’s relics.

Sanctuary of Santa Caterina

The family home of Caterina di Giacomo di Benincasa, known as Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of Italy and Europe.

Santa Maria della Scala

Directly across Piazza del Duomo, this former medieval hospital now serves as a museum displaying religious art.

Admission to Santa Maria della Scala

Admission to Santa Maria della Scala is included in various combo tickets:

  • Municipal Museums (Museo Civico + Santa Maria della Scala) = €11.00, valid for 2 days
  • Siena Winter Art Itinerary (Museo Civico + Santa Maria della Scala + Museo dell’Opera + Battistero di San Giovanni) = €14.00, valid for 7 days
  • Siena Summer Art Itinerary (Museo Civico + Santa Maria della Scala + Museo dell’Opera + Battistero di San Giovanni + Sant’Agostino e San Bernardino) = €17.00, valid for 7 days

Travel Tip

Combo tickets for the Museo Civico and Torre del Mangia can only be purchased at the Torre del Mangia ticket office.

Siena is a city that captivates visitors with its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re interested in exploring museums, admiring art, or simply soaking up the charm of this Tuscan gem, Siena has something to offer everyone.

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