Stretched across a Tuscan hill, Siena offers Italy’s best medieval city experience. With red-brick lanes tumbling every which way, a walk around the town easily takes you back to the glory days of Italy.
Are you with a group of women traveling together around the Tuscan region? If you ever catch yourself planning a trip to Siena, don’t miss out on the following highlights:
All the main streets in Siena, Italy all lead to this square. It has an unusual shape, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a fan or a scallop. A lovely fountain sits right in the center of the square. It is called the “Fonte Gaia” – which is literally translated as the happy fountain. It dates back to 1346, and has panels based on originals by Jacopo della Quercia.
For history buffs: The Piazza del Campo is widely speculated among many historians that it may lie above where the Roman forum was. Additionally, it is famous for hosting the medieval annual horse race known as the Palio.
This beautiful Gothic masterpiece dominates the Piazza del Campo with its bright orange terracotta that seems to glow at sunset. Inside you’ll find the Museo Civico and its wonderful art collection. Just next to the Palazzo Pubblico is the Torre del Mangia bell tower, which is over 180 feet high. You can climb all the way to the top and get a fantastic view of the city.
The Duomo of Siena is undoubtedly one of the prettiest Gothic churches in Italy. It took centuries to build and was finally completed in the 14th century. Its major attraction is its stunning inlaid marble floor that contains detailed biblical scenes, which took 200 years to finish.
Women traveling together, especially those who appreciate fine art and history, could easily spend hours in the Duomo. It is filled with paintings, sculpture and details that could send you back in time.
The Torre del Mangia takes its name from its first guardian, Giovanni di Duccio, whose nickname was “Mangiaguadagni” (literally translated as ‘earning eater’), as he spent all his earnings eating in the taverns of Siena Italy.
If you are scared of heights, you might not want to venture up the 88 meters (400 steps!) of the Torre del Mangia. This will be quite a shame as you’ll miss out on a wonderful view. From the top, the sight is truly breathtaking. You can see all of Siena: the Piazza del Campo, the Cathedral and the distant hills.
Wining and dining in Siena is truly one of the best experiences you will have in Italy. Apart from producing top-quality wine, Siena is also known for its rich and comfortable dishes greatly inspired by simple cooking.
Here are two food and wine pairings that you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Siena:
This wine is produced on the hills between Florence and Siena Italy but it can be enjoyed with all dishes of the Tuscan cuisine. When aged, it is a suitable wine for red or white meat dishes, but it is better with delicious roasts. It also pairs well with mature and strong cheese.
This wine is produced in the province of Siena Italy, but outside the Chianti Classico area. It doesn’t have as much alcohol content as the “Classico” type, but it is suitable for all homemade dishes. It is ideal with famous Sienese dishes such as the “crostini alla senese”, the “ribollita“, the “pappardelle col sugo di coniglio” (pappardelle with rabbit sauce), the “spiedini di lombo” (loin skewers) and the “pecorino di Asciano” (ewe’s milk cheese from Asciano).
For those of you with a sweet tooth, make sure to get a bite of the Panforte. This concentrated fruit and nut cake is the classic Sienese dessert and is usually served with the sweet Vin Santo wine.
Women traveling together are highly recommended to attend wine & food classes in Siena, Italy as it is undoubtedly the best way to experience the local Tuscan wine and cuisine.
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