Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 8-9
Previous stop: Montepulciano Return to full itinerary »

Siena feels medieval in the same way that other Tuscan cities feel Renaissance. Most of the buildings in the historic center are imposingly Gothic, which you'll notice immediately when you see Palazzo Pubblico in Piazza del Campo, the magnificent main square. There's lots of great art in Siena, in its museums, and especially in its churches. It also has a vibrant classical music scene, and for two days a year it's the sight of Italy's most famous horse race.
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  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture


  • Spend some time hanging out Piazza del Campo, the heart of Siena, before ducking into the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena's town hall since the 14th century.
  • The Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala has exquisite 15th-century frescoes on its ground floor, and a well-laid out museum underground displaying Etruscan objects.
  • Explore the elaborately Gothic Duomo, making sure not to miss the vibrant Pinturrichio frescoes in the Biblioteca Piccolomini; the crypt has its own phenomenal 13th-century frescoes.


  • Horses, the local Sienese, and hordes of visitors run riot during the Palio horserace, held every July 2nd and August 15th.

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