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Half a day in Siena (Parking, Sight Seeing & Eating Advice)

Half a day in Siena (Parking, Sight Seeing & Eating Advice)

Old May 28th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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Half a day in Siena (Parking, Sight Seeing & Eating Advice)

We will be arriving in Siena on July 4 at around 1 pm. We will have the rest of the day to explore (we have a car). Looking for parking advice. Also, looking for advice on what to see and a few restaurant suggestions. Off the beaten path if possible (trying to avoid touristy places although we do have a few picky eaters in the group). Thank you in advance!
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Old May 28th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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Siena is bigger than you probably realize, and suggestions on where to park depend on which direction you're coming from. This link mentions most approaches to the city, I think:

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/driving/parking_siena.htm

And this one more clearly lists the actual parking lots:

http://www.discovertuscany.com/siena...-in-siena.html

If you're only there for a few afternoon hours and perhaps into the evening, you need to prioritize your time. Hitting the main tourist sights and dining in "off the beaten path" restaurants are contradictory goals.

The city will be packed with tourists, so I wouldn't focus too much on getting away from them. Eat as soon as you have parked and walked into the city. Check closing times of the main sights, consult a map and plan your remaining time.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 07:46 AM
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We found parking easily near the stadium even though we were there during the very crowded Palio. The map provided above is helpful.
Enjoy this beautiful city.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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One place not to eat is at the main square - Piazza del Campo. Porcheria!
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Old May 28th, 2014, 08:00 AM
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We had breakfast in Piazza del Campo, wasn't bad at all and what a beautiful viewing spot to eat breakfast. I loved the gift shop in the cathedral. Great Florentine paper goods. Sorry on the parking advice. We took a cab from the train station.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 09:09 AM
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Thank you everyone!
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Old May 28th, 2014, 09:55 AM
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Palio is run on July 2nd so be ready for a very crowded city. If you manage to find place at "Il campo" park silo, it would be quite convenient for visiting the center.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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In terms of "what to see" that obviously depends on your interests but assuming they are like those of many I would definitely spend time in the Duomo if for no other reason than the mosaics in the floors.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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On our recent trip to Siena, we were looking for parking lots and quite by accident parked in the San Francesco lot. This is the one where you can take the 5 escalators up to the old city. I highly recommend seeking it out. And the gate where you enter is a very charming stroll down to the campo.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 12:43 PM
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BTW, the last time I drove to Siena from the countryside nearby where we were staying i was, or at least tried to be, extremely careful about not driving into zones where one is not supposed to be driving. I was never ever on any street or in any area where there weren't a lot of other cars.

Nonetheless, several months later I got one of those traffic citations that said my car "had been detected" inside some sort of "restricted" zone. Drive to one of the parking lots and park there and then plan to do some walking.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 03:50 PM
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One thing to consider is that many shops, etc. close up in the afternoon for several hours, from 1 - 4 PM is typical.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 05:11 PM
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I've noticed in the extremely tourist-popular (and somewhat bigger) towns (like Siena) fewer shops close mid-day for hours. In contrast, small, less-visited towns (San Quirico d'Orcia and Panzano in Chianti, for example) are almost ghost towns in mid-day.

Having said that, I've never been to Siena around the time of either palio.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 05:15 PM
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We were in Siena 3 weeks ago. After lunch, we stepped out into very quiet streets. Most, not all, of the shops were closed. We arrived late morning, and we planned for a late lunch so that we could shop until the stores closed for the mid afternoon break. If you do not take this break into consideration, then a 1/2 day in Siena may not be productive or enjoyable.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 05:58 PM
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I have spent a dead afternoon or two in Siena. The most interesting shops seem to always be shut when I'm there.

To me, the shops and Duomo and Campo are the most enjoyable parts of a trip. Some other good churches, but hiking all around hilly Siena isn't easy, so be sure of opening times. Maybe plan out a walking tour.

I think I might eat lunch on the way there, get there around 3, and spend time in the Duomo until things reopen. Then take your walk and plan to perhaps have dinner in town.

That might not be a perfect plan, but it's a plan.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 06:02 PM
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Me again. Wild boar (cinghiale) is a Sienese specialty. I never ate at Osteria da Divo - http://www.osteriadadivo.it/eng/come-raggiungerci.htm - but apparently the food is very good there. It's located near parking so should suit your needs. Another Sienese specialty is Panforte, a flat fruit cake. I had great gelato at Grom. I know it's a chain but the line outside the door indicated it does a fine job. Buon appetito!
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 09:52 AM
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Great information! Thank you everyone : )
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Old Jun 17th, 2014, 01:23 PM
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The Duomo is not to be missed. We had the best pizza of anywhere we visited in Italy at an upscale grocery store with a bakery - Consorzio Agrario Siena. They also had salads, cheeses, and other things that all looked delicious. The address is Via Pianigiani, 9-53100 - Siena.
Here is the English website.
http://www.google.com/translate?lang...//www.capsi.it
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