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Siena

Culture & history

Our most recommended Siena Culture & History

From Florence: Tuscany Day Trip with Optional Lunch and Wine

1. From Florence: Tuscany Day Trip with Optional Lunch and Wine

Begin your journey of Tuscany at Florence’s central train station, where you will be greeted by your guide who will take care of you throughout the day.  Head straight to Siena, Italy’s most picturesque medieval city, whereupon arrival your guide will take you on a walking tour. Look up to admire the lovely terracotta roofs adorning the buildings and marvel at the magnificent Gothic and Romanesque architecture of the main cathedral.   Next, head to the hilltop town of San Gimignano, a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for the tower houses built in the Middle Ages. Enjoy free time here to see its splendid squares, palaces, churches, and magnificent towers. The last stop on your Tuscan excursion is a visit to Pisa and its iconic leaning tower. Take a stroll through the Piazza dei Miracoli and see other marvelous monuments, before driving back to Florence. Best of all, choose from either a small-group or private guided experience to make your trip special. Choose the lunch option to enjoy a homemade lunch paired with an informal wine tasting at a traditional wine estate in the Chianti wine region. Savor 4 regional wines at lunch and learn about their unique production techniques. Feast on an organic, farmhouse meal while you overlook the rolling vineyards under the Tuscan sun.

Siena: Siena Cathedral Complex Pass (OPA SI Pass)

2. Siena: Siena Cathedral Complex Pass (OPA SI Pass)

See notable features of the Duomo of Siena with the OPA SI fast-track entry pass. In addition to discovering the Cathedral of Siena, visit the Baptistery, the Crypt, the Piccolomini Library, and the adjacent Museo dell'Opera, Oratory, and Facciatone viewpoint with one convenient ticket. Enter the Duomo and be amazed by its grand scale as you stroll along its stunning mosaic marble floor. Admire sculptures such as The Feast of Herod by Donatello and St. Paul by Michaelangelo, amongst many artworks which are dotted around the cathedral. Visit the Baptistery of San Giovanni within the Duomo to marvel at the splendid Baptismal Font. From here, head down into the Crypt, the underground quarters that remained hidden for more than seven centuries. Then, stroll through the Piccolomini Library and gaze up at the vibrant and colorful frescoes which adorn its walls. Admire the stunning work by Pinturicchio, which depicts ten episodes from the life of Pope Pius II. Access the Museo dell'Opera which houses a selection of archaeological fragments and artwork once part of the cathedral. See a variety of Gothic sculptures by Giovanni Pisano and paintings by Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti. Head into the Oratory of San Bernardino to admire the collection of the Diocesan Museum of Religious Art, with its core at the upper oratory chapel. Discover a variety of Siennese paintings from between the 13th to the 18th century. Finish up your visit to the complex with a climb up to the Facciatone viewpoint. Be enchanted by the unforgettable view over the city of Siena and the beautiful rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside.                                                                                                                                        

Siena: Siena Cathedral & Piccolomini Library Entrance Ticket

3. Siena: Siena Cathedral & Piccolomini Library Entrance Ticket

Benefit from fast-track entry to Siena Cathedral and admire the stunning artwork and architecture of its interior. Walk along its ornate marble mosaic floor and visit the Piccolomini Library known for its collection of vibrant frescoes. Skip the line and enter the Cathedral and admire one of the foremost masterpieces of renaissance art and architecture in Italy. Gaze at elaborate altarpieces, a sculpture by Michelangelo, and all manner of ornate decorations scattered throughout its vast interior. Enter the Piccolomini Library, which contains a sprawling series of 10 frescoes by Pinturicchio chronicling the life of Pope Pius II. Gaze upwards at the domed ceiling, masterfully adorned with complex patterns and further scenes from the pope’s life.

Siena: Guided City Tour with Cathedral Skip-the-Line Entry

4. Siena: Guided City Tour with Cathedral Skip-the-Line Entry

Explore the beauty of Siena on a small group or private walking tour. See its famous monuments and hidden treasures with an expert guide. Benefit from skip-the-line entry tickets to Siena Cathedral. Meet your guide at the San Domenico Basilica and admire its Gothic architecture. Follow a winding route to take in panoramic views of the city, including the Duomo and Torre del Mangia. Find out about Siena in the Middle Ages, see the imposing palaces said to be the oldest in the area. Have a break to take in the charm of the 14th-century seashell-shaped square, Piazza del Compo, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the magnificent Fonte Gaia fountain with its side reliefs of "The Creation of Adam" and "The Flight from the Garden of Eden." Learn about the history of the contrada (districts) that challenge each other twice a year during Siena’s Palio horse race. Walk to one of the most typical contrada and immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere. Follow your guide to see one of the local pastry shops that reflect the glory of Italy in using the centuries-old recipes to make traditional Ricciarelli and Panforte. Finally, explore one of the most fascinating cathedrals in Italy with pre-reserved tickets. Follow your guide to marvel at the magnificent marble mosaic inlay floor, stained glass, and medieval masterpieces by Duccio and Pisano. See the Renaissance highlights: several Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernini sculptures and frescoes by Pinturicchio in the Libreria Piccolomini. Armed with a wealth of knowledge about Siena, say goodbye to your guide in the square in front of the cathedral.

From Siena: Brunello di Montalcino Wine Tour by Minivan

5. From Siena: Brunello di Montalcino Wine Tour by Minivan

Brunello, considered the best wine in the world, has its ancestral roots in the passion of the inhabitants of Montalcino and in the ancient winemaking tradition, handed down from one generation to the next. The town of Montalcino, with its Sangiovese grapes the wine is produced from, stands on a charming hill that lets you relish its natural wholesomeness. The town, its ancient fortress, and some of the best wineries in the world are the focus of this specialized tour. The winemaking process which includes a long maturation in casks made from valuable wood, make Brunello the “Italian ambassador in the world of our winemaking reality.” Taste prestigious wines from some of the finest wineries in Montalcino and enjoy the wonderful surrounding area.

Siena: Palazzo Pubblico Entry Ticket

6. Siena: Palazzo Pubblico Entry Ticket

Enter the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena and visit the Civic Museum with this entry ticket. Located inside the Palazzo Pubblico, the Civic Museum is a 13th-century building home to impressive wall-to-wall fresco paintings. Explore the museum to learn about the history of Siena and see precious artifacts. Exchange your voucher for an entry ticket at the ticket office and begin your visit in the Sala del Risorgimento. This room hosts fresco paintings that depict the life of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy. Walkthrough the Sala di Balìa and see wall paintings from the 15th-century by Spinello Aretino and Martino di Bartolomeo. Also, see the Sala dei Cardinali where precious carved coffers keep reliquaries. Move forward to the Sala del Concistoro, famous for its Beccafumi vault, and see Taddeo di Bartolo's 15th-century Cappella. Continue on to the Sala del Mappamondo, the widest room of the Palazzo Pubblico and used as the meeting place of the General Council. See the famous Maestà, a Gothic masterpiece painted by Simone Martini. The museum entry ticket also includes a visit to the 14th-century gallery, Loggia dei Nove, which offers a beautiful view of the landscape behind Palazzo Pubblico.

Historic Siena: Guided Walking Tour

7. Historic Siena: Guided Walking Tour

See the highlights of Siena on a walking tour as your guide tells you about the development of the city over the centuries and you enjoy the spectacular scenery and monuments. As you visit Siena’s major attractions such as the central Piazza del Campo, the Palazzo Comunale, the Cathedral, and the majestic Basilica of San Domenico you’ll learn about each of these sights in depth from your guide. You’ll also hear about the noble families that were instrumental in the history of the city, including the Piccolomini, Tolomei, and Salimbeni, and see their palazzos. You’ll learn about the great tradition of the palio and hear stories of pilgrimage and saintliness that distinguish Siena. You can decide to finish the tour with a visit to Cathedral where numerous artistic treasures are preserved. Entrance to the Cathedral is available at an additional cost. You’ll see works by artists such as Pisano, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Donatello, Pinturicchio, and Gianlorenzo Bernini. During the summer you can also see the marvelous marble floor, which is a unique work in the history of art.

From Siena: Dinner in the Chianti Vineyards

8. From Siena: Dinner in the Chianti Vineyards

Discover the history, landscapes, wines, and culinary traditions of Chianti on this day trip from Siena. Travel in a comfortable and climate-controlled vehicle to a quaint farm in the hills. Engage your senses as you try a range of wines and savor a gourmet dinner.  Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from a centrally-located meeting point in Siena. Admire the Tuscan countryside as you travel to a farm tucked away in between rows of vineyards where grapes ripen in the Italian sun.  Pick up a wine glass to carry with you on your visit to the farm's winery. Sample a variety of delicious wines as you walk along a charming wine route. Visit the estate’s historic chapel before finally heading to your candle-lit dinner under the stars.  Listen to harmonious background music and lookout at the vineyards as you indulge in a farm-fresh gastronomic experience made from traditional recipes. Taste pappa al pomodoro or ribollita ( both are variations of Tuscan bread soup) and barbecued meat served with seasonal vegetables.  Let yourself get carried away by the warmth and fragrances of the barbecue and the perfumes of the grapevines, which enhance the dining experience. After dinner be escorted back to Siena where the tour will finish.

Florence: Gimignano, Siena, Chianti Tour, Lunch & Tasting

9. Florence: Gimignano, Siena, Chianti Tour, Lunch & Tasting

Discover Tuscany on a guided day tour from Florence to the medieval cities of Siena, San Gimignano, and Monteriggioni. Enjoy views of rolling hills and vineyards, with a stop at a Chianti winery for a traditional Tuscan lunch and wine tasting. First arrive in San Gimignano, a tiny medieval town that has remained intact through the centuries. Sitting upon a hilltop, it is famous for its numerous towers, frescoes, and other art treasures. Enjoy more free time to discover this fascinating city on your own. Next, visit the charming historical hamlet of Monteriggioni, a medieval village enclosed by its famous walls, which remained standing to this day. Afterward, you will cross the Chianti rolling hills and then arrive at a small and typical winery. There, taste 4 wines, and sample balsamic vinegar and other locally produced products. Your final stop is in Siena, where you will have free time to walk along the narrow medieval streets, admiring the splendid palaces, the Cathedral, Libreria Piccolomini, and the famous shell-shaped Piazza del Campo.

Total Immersion Wine Tour in Chianti

10. Total Immersion Wine Tour in Chianti

All the guests will be welcomed at the estate and brought to the roof of the cellar to see the most breathtaking views of the rolling hills at 600 meters above sea level. Here one of the passionate members of the team will provide an introduction to a history of the estate and a small general explanation of what guests will see and what they will be doing in the next one and a half hours of their time. Clients will be able to visit one of the vineyards followed by an explanation of the working process and of organic agriculture with some additional biodynamic techniqes that are often used and practised at the estate. If the weather permits, guests would be offered a glass of sparkling wine or a fresh wine of their choice at the small adjecent terrace built under an oak tree.  The tour will then take everyone to a visit through the gardens of the villa and include a visit of the vegetable garden. The cellar is the next stop, where detailed explanation follows about the harvest and selection of the grapes during the harvest, fermantation, and further aging of the wines. Each step of the viniticulture process is explained in great detail and guests would learn a lot of new and exciting things about how to make wines in the Chianti Classico area. The last stop is a tasting room, where guests will be able to try all 5 products of the estate with the selection of various local cured meats and/or cheeses with bread and olive oil. Guests will also learn particular details about the history of each wine, will learn how to smell and taste it, and what to look for when opening a new bottle of wine. The last exciting detail is the grappa, for those who would like to learn about its production and unique and delicate taste.

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What people are saying about Siena

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 4,972 reviews

Sara (guide) and Fabio (driver) were excellent. We never felt lost, even though each stop went by very quickly. Sara kept us engaged to whichever degree we wanted, and read the room to keep our energy up or let us rest. She was extremely kind, informed, and personable. English speakers will be able to communicate with Sara seamlessly! Other travelers: 1) Eat breakfast before you board! Our group was hungry; 2) Bring sunscreen - the Tuscan sun is no joke!; 3) Pack snacks; 4) Come prepared with lots of 1 Euro and 50 cent coins for public restrooms and factor in wait time; 5) You're able to keep items on the bus, so bring a bigger bag to store your souvenirs and a smaller bag to carry with you; 6) You'll have time to nap and relax on the bus, but never longer than 2 hours at at time; 7) You may think you won't have enough time in Pisa, but for real you only need 30 minutes so this is the perfect way to see it; 8) The meeting point at the train station uses "Walkabout" NOT "GetYourGuide."

We really enjoyed this excursion. Manolo was an excellent guide. Very knowledgeable but also just good at keeping the group together and moving along on the itinerary. I enjoyed all of our stops, but I especially liked Siena where the local guide shared a lot of fun details about Siena’s history and their church was absolutely beautiful. We also really enjoyed the winery and lunch - it was worth paying the extra for this part in my opinion! It is a lot of walking, including to the pick up and drop off locations for the buses since they can only get so close to city centers, so be sure to pack comfortable shoes!

This was fantastic. Out of our two week trip in Italy this was up there in terms of our favorite activity for myself and my husband. Our tour leader was Alessandro, who was funny, personable, very informative and kept our large group together and moving seemingly with ease. And our bus driver Nando was fantastic as well! We loved all of the stops and the lunch and wine were delicious plus a very fun time to meet the other travelers. If you are considering booking this, definitely go for it, especially if this is your first time in the area, you’ll have a great time!

What an amazing trip this was. Special thanks go to Elizabetta (Amazing, Funny, Joyful, and a friendly Tour Guide) and Giancarlo (Super Driver) for making this a memorable trip. Although I experienced so many tours in so many countries, I never wrote a review. However, this is just something special and I confidently can say this is the best tour I’ve ever had. Yes, “ever”.

We had a great day. Great driver, great wine tasting and gorgeous villages and scenery, definitely recommend.