Some of the most incredible cities can be found in Italy—but Rome and Florence aren’t the only two worth seeing. The next time you visit Italy, take a trip to Siena—a picturesque town in Tuscany known for its medieval architecture and iconic cathedral. So what to do in Siena, one of the best cities in Europe?
Start by admiring (and, of course, taking photos of) the most recognizable sights in Siena.
There’s the Piazza del Campo—the shell-shaped public square in the city center—and the namesake Roman Catholic Duomo, best known for its stripes of white and greenish-black marble. If you take the time to step inside, you’ll find masterpieces by 40 Italian artists. But you can easily get lost in the winding streets, where every turn leads to another medieval structure or a belfry plucked straight out of the Italian Renaissance. Is it any wonder Siena is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world?
Afterward, grab a glass of local Brunello di Montalcino wine, from the hills just south of Siena. Vineyards of the complex, distinct Sangiovese grapes are found in the greatest concentration in this region. Tour the Poggio Rubino winery, which is spread across nearly 40 acres of land. Visitors can participate in wine tastings and learn about the traditions of winemaking in the region.
If you’re shopping for souvenirs or keepsakes, your best options include the Wednesday market (where vendors sell everything from clothes to housewares) and Siena Tartufi—an emporium of truffles, honeys, oils, spreads, and cheeses.
Other Siena attractions include the Museo Civico, which houses paintings and sculptures in rooms decorated with impressive frescoes, and the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena—a comprehensive collection of Gothic and Renaissance paintings.
You may want to plan a trip to Siena around the Palio Horse Race, one of the most fun things to do in Siena. Twice a year, this sporting competition that dates back to the 6th century transforms the quiet town into a raucous scene. The race may last only 90 seconds, but the ceremonies, horse blessings, and parades go on all day long.