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Home DestinationsDestination: family-friendly villas 24 Hours in Siena – Tuscany’s Medieval City

24 Hours in Siena – Tuscany’s Medieval City

by Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande

If you are visiting Tuscany I recommend you spend at least a day visiting the wonderful medieval city of Siena and have put together some suggestions of what you can see and do, as well as where you can stay.

Your first stop really should be the heart of the city which is the Piazza del Campo where you can take in the atmosphere of Siena and the Fonta Gaia, the city’s largest fountain. Take a look at the amazing red brickwork and then take a stroll around the narrow streets and discover for yourself the different areas of this historical city. You will stumble upon some lovely little places to grab something to eat or quench your thirst after all that walking and may even decide to pick one for a relaxing dinner later on, where you can talk about all the things you discovered in Siena that day.

 

hotograph of Duomo Siena by Oke via Wikimedia Commons

Photograph of Duomo Siena by Oke via Wikimedia Commons

 

A visit to the red bricked city hall Palazzo Pubblico is well worth your while for its view over the Campo. Do pay a visit to the Piazza del Duomo and wonder around the inside Siena’s splendid Gothic Cathedral (Duomo) and make sure you also go inside The Piccolomini Library and The Crypt under the Cathedral. It only costs €4.00 per person to get in and there are concessions for families. A visit to Siena is not complete without seeing the Duomo.
One of Italy’s oldest private museums is Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and can be found on the south side of the Cathedral and is where you will be able to see some of the original statues from the front of the Cathedral.

 

Photograph of Piazza del Campo by flissphil courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photograph of Piazza del Campo by flissphil courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

For those of you wanting to do some shopping, Siena has its fair share of small boutiques, clothes and shoe shops which you can find on Via Banchi di Sopra, the city’s main shopping street. The other two noteworthy areas are Via di Citta and Via Pantaneto. If you happen to be in Siena on a Wednesday there is an outdoor market close to Piazza Gramsci which opens at 7:00am and closes at 1:00pm with stalls selling anything from fresh vegetables and fruit to clothes and shoes. Then on a Friday morning, there is a Farmers Market where local farmers sell their fresh produce and you will be able to find some really good quality meat to take back and cook at home.
Spending a day exploring a new city with children can be a challenge, particularly when they start getting bored and tired. Fortunately Siena has a few playgrounds where you can rest your weary legs and let the kids have some fun. You will find playgrounds at Piazza Amendola, another very close to Piazza Gramsci and a third close to Piazza del Campo in a park called Orti Dei Tolomei.

 

View over Piazza del Campo from Appartamento La Duchessa

View over Piazza del Campo from Appartamento La Duchessa

 

Where to Stay

Of course the best way to experience Tuscany and in particular Siena, is by renting a villa, be it for a family holiday or adult get away. Passepartout Homes has a wide selection of over 15 to choose from in Tuscany, ranging from the beautiful hilltop Casale Le Pratola just 15km from Siena with its amazing panoramic views of the Tuscan landscape and tempting infinity swimming pool, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Villa La Boghese, 25km from the city, is another great holiday location for friends looking to escape the 9 to 5 daily drudgery and can sleep up to 28 people in comfort, also offering wonderful views from its hilltop location.
You can’t however beat the views provided by Apartment La Duchessa, right on the Campo, the ideal location to enjoy the Palio from the comfort of your living-room. Well, this is called VIP Treatment!

So whatever you plan to do on your next holiday to Italy, if you happen to be in Tuscany, a day walking around Siena taking in the sights is a day well spent.

 

Poolside at Casale Le Pratola

Poolside at Casale Le Pratola in Gaiole in Chianti

 

By Simon Burrell, Editor-in-Chief of Luxury Travel Website www.omotg.com