Getting away from the big cities and going to the countryside is what I enjoy the most when I travel. Exploring the countryside is a reminder of all the ranges of craftsmanship and small businesses that helped sustain life without depending on big corporations and factories like in the large cities. I was so happy I got to spend a day in one of Italy’s favorite destinations in Tuscany! To be honest, Siena was never on my list of places to visit. Prior to my trip, I did some research to learn a little about the city; Siena is popular for its central piazza (Il Campo) and its medieval style brick buildings. However, what I read on the internet is not quite the true experience like when I step into the country. So instead of writing too much, I highly recommend you to visit with an open mind and see for yourself. The city has far more exciting and more beautiful places to visit than you think. That is why I called it the hidden gem of Tuscany.
I was sad that my stay here was very short (one night and one full day). But a one day trip may just be all the time you need to visit Siena. I spent half of the day visiting San Gimignano, a small town about 20 minutes away from my hotel (Hotel Duomo). I enjoyed visiting San Gimignano because it was less of a tourist area and it had a rich history. I visited historical centers, duomo, an abandoned jail, and a castle with a surrounding picturesque view of vineyards and hills.
One of the best things to do in Siena is to visit at least one castle. There are many castles that you can visit when you are here. Some castles even have room and board that you can rent and stay with locals. But what is most important when you visit a castle is to take in the beautiful landscape and imagine yourself living during the medieval times. Visiting one will be worthwhile!
Roads in Siena are narrow and steep, so it is difficult for cars to go through. The best transportation would be walking. However, buses are an option for places that are further away. I don’t recommend bringing a lot of luggage if you plan to spend a few nights here. It can be quite a hike up the steep streets to find your hotel!
As you wander the streets of Siena, you will come upon MANY shops! From fruit shops, pastry shops, virgin olive oil shops, clothing shops, coffee shops, and so on. Since the Il Campo is the center of life, most restaurants and shops are around this area.
Thank you for reading my post! If you have any questions or comments, please leave it down below. Thank you!