The mediaeval brick of Siena is instantly recognisable. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its historic centre is quintessential Tuscany with its classic cityscape, artistic heritage, and world-renowned cuisine.
The Siena Cathedral is likely to capture the attention of most first-time visitors with its awe-inspiring Romanesque-Gothic façade. Works by Italian masters like Pisano, Donatello, Pinturicchio, and Ghiberti adorn every corner of the 12th century church. The city’s musical heritage can be enjoyed at the Medicean Fortress, which is home to Enoteca Italiana and the Siena Jazz School. Other attractions include the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo and the Palazzo Salimbeni, one of Europe’s oldest banks.
There are direct train connexions on Trenitalia to Siena from both Florence and San Gimignano. The city lies about 75 kilometres south of Florence, and a ride will take at minimum 90 minutes. Drivers can reach the city in only a few minutes less.
As a Tuscan hill town, it should come as no surprise that Siena was first inhabited by the Etruscans. Siena has close ties to Rome, with legends claiming the city was founded by the sons of Remus after their father’s murder by Romulus, but the Roman rule was not a prosperous time for the town. Nonetheless, the she-wolf who supposedly raised Romulus and Remus has been adopted as a symbol of Siena, much as it is for Rome.