Walking Tour of Siena, Italy
The once powerful City-State of Siena was a major rival of Florence and a very important urban community in Italy. However, things have changed since Italy was united and this hill town has settled into a more relaxed and comfortable role. Florence remains the major tourist draw in Tuscany but Siena is also extremely popular with travelers and a great place to spend a night or two while exploring the region. Although this walk is very structured and specific, part of the fun of Siena is to get lost in the maze of alleyways and narrow streets, so don’t hesitate to deviate from the walk described here to explore other areas of this fascinating city.
This walk begins in Siena’s Main Square (Piazza del Campo), one of Italy’s most interesting and prominent gathering places. The large, fan-shaped space even holds horse races (The Palio) twice a year in the summer time. The vast area surrounded by attractive buildings also has a fountain, the Fonte Gaia with some beautifully sculpted reliefs. The most imposing building in the square is Siena’s Town Hall (Palazzo Pubblico) whose tower, the Torre del Mangia, soars over 300 feet high. Opposite the Town Hall is the Loggia della Mercanzia, the merchant’s arcade, occupied by shops and restaurants.
Leave the square at the southwest corner and head through the archway and up the ramp to Via di Citta and take a left. Turn right at Via del Capitano to enter the Piazza del Duomo where Siena’s magnificent Cathedral (Duomo) sits. Spend some time surveying
the exquisite exterior of the church before heading inside. Note, in particular, the marble inlaid floor and the carved panels in the pulpit. Also, be sure to check out the Crypt, recently opened to the public.
Exit the church and turn right out of the piazza on the Via del Fusari. Turn left and then right onto Via Franciosa. In the piazza ahead take a left, through the archway onto Via di Diacceto. Note the Aerial Bridges as you pass Via D Galluzza, then turn right at the next piazza and then left onto Via Bianchi di Sotto.
At Via Rinaldina take a right and enter the Piazza del Campo where the walking tour began.