Time to leave Florence and continue through Italy by train. Next stop: the medieval city Siena! People told me that Siena has a historic city centre with a unique square. The historic centre of Siena is a World Heritage Site.
Florence to Siena by train is about 1,5 hour. Siena is built on several hills, so be prepared for that and wear good shoes. In Siena I can advise to walk through the shopping mall opposite the train station. Inside you can take the escalator to the city. It’s much better then walking with your luggage in the scorching sun on the steep streets.
When entering the old city of Siena at the north side at Porta Camollia you have a nice view over the surrounding area. Large villas with vineyards on top of hills. Another good spot to take photos is next to Basilica San Domenico. From here you have a great view to the hill with the Siena cathedral.
The city centre has many narrow streets, but surprisingly people are able to drive by car through the streets. One of the most impressive streets is Via Galluzza. A small street with many arches, very special. Piazza del Campo is the heart of the city. The sloping shell-shaped square definitely is unique! A cosy touristic place with restaurants around the square and Torre del Mangia attracting attention at the other side of the square. I definitely wanted to see the view from Torre del Mangia. The queue was not very long, but still I had to wait for almost an hour. Despite that it was worth it. The view is amazing! Not only seeing the main places of interest in Siena like the cathedral and basilicas, but also the surrounding Italian scenery.
I visited Basilica San Domenico, Basilica of San Francesco and the Siena cathedral. Personally I think this cathedral is more interesting than the Duomo of Florence. Black and white marble strips, the mosaic floor, beautiful dome and pulpit. Certainly one of the highlights of Siena!
Early evening I discovered a nice pub in a small alley between Via del Citta and Piazza del Campo. At the backside there was a small balcony at second floor with some seats overlooking the restaurants and Piazza. Definitely one of the best places to be around sunset and a good place to meet other travellers.
Where did I stay?
For a hotel I searched on Booking.com. I looked for cheap hotels or hostels with good reviews and at locations not too far from the city centre. In Siena I found a hotel at the edge of the historic city centre:
- Hotel Minerva, Siena. Decent hotel with nice breakfast for €49. Located between the historical city centre and Siena train station. Balcony with great view towards the medieval city! Fine hotel that I can recommend.