This past week I had the chance to take a day trip to Siena from Florence. I wanted to return to a city that has a special place in my heart. Minus a new mall attached to the train station, I am glad to see that not much has changed. In fact, the beautiful thing about Siena is that nothing has changed for hundreds of years. The historic center of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Siena, is also one of the most visited cities in Italy. I was surprised at the amount of tourist in the city this past week. It’s only early May but it felt like it was mid July.
Siena was settled by the Etruscans in the year 900 – 400 BC. It’s history is rich and legendary. To learn more of it’s history please visit the official Tuscany tourism website:http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/intoscana2/export/TurismoRTen/
The Piazzo del Campo is the main square that is a must see if visiting Siena. Tours of the bell tower are available and it provides a panoramic view of the surrounding Tuscan country side.
According to the Siena Tourist office, Siena is unique as it still has wards or contrada. Contrada were created during medieval times. Each contrada is represented by an animal mascot which is on full display during the Palio (the annual horse race that Siena is famous for).
From Florence, Siena is an hour train ride. The cost for a round trip ticket is 17.00 euros. Make sure you validate your ticket or you will be charged a 40.00 euro fine. This almost happened to me but I refused to pay the fine so I had to get off at the next stop to validate my ticket and catch the next train. Mama mia! Once you arrive in Siena you can catch a bus or if you’re in good shape you can walk up the hill to the town center. I took the bus.
Another must see in Siena is the Cathedral. I recommend arriving early due to long lines, especially during summer months.
If you have been to Siena or would like to visit please provide feedback or recommendations. I look forward to hearing from you! Ciao!
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