Siena – Beauty And The Tourist
Siena is that kind of city where the wine tastes better, the food gets better and even Italy becomes more beautiful all of a sudden. Of all the places in Italy, I fell in love with Siena.
…Its peaceful medieval air, beautiful nature’s surroundings, classy shops and restaurants, amazing wine and the taste for art, all of them give a distinctive air to this city, much different from your Italian average massive tourist destinations.
Once there, the first sight I set my eyes on was Piazza del Campo, the main square of Siena, set in a beautiful curved shape like an amphitheater and surrounded by people with ice creams in their hands. Piazza del Campo is divided into 9 easily distinguishable “pieces”, that were created to commemorate the 9 men who ruled the city of Siena between 1285 and 1355. The square houses the Palazzo Publico (town hall) and the Torre Del Mangia, a 102 meter tower offering amazing panoramas of Siena. There is also a magnificent fountain called Fonte Gaia which was built in honor of the aqueduct (still functional) in the 14th century.
For lunch, we chose to eat at Osteria La Mossa, in the heart of the historic center, serving traditional cuisine dishes. The home-made pasta we had there was amazing!
One of the most beautiful sights in Siena and one that I will always remember is The Medicean Fortress, a serene place with amazing panoramic views over the city. Tip: go there at sunset! Built in 1563 by Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence, this fortress is, today, the place where locals enjoy walking and running.
Wine connoisseurs, don’t miss Enoteca Italiana, a cellar that houses a collection of more than 1500 wines – is to be found inside the fortress.
In front of the Medicean Fortress, there are the romantic Gardens of Lizza, designed by Pietro Marchetti in 1872 and dominated by Giuseppe Garibaldi’s equestrian monument sculpted by Raffaello Romanelli.
All in all, I found Siena to be not only amazingly beautiful, but also infinitely more peaceful than the nearby tourist-flooded Florence. It’s definitely worth the trip!