Siena is a classic 13th century Italian village in the hills of the Tuscan countryside. Its wealthy golden era took place between 1200 and 1300 AD and much of its art and architecture still bears the signature of this medieval period. For centuries, travelers have been coming to Siena for its beauty and history, its unusual piazza, its religious pilgrimage sites, and its famous summer horse races that take place in the market square. Visitors also come here to experience the romance of Tuscany. While you're here, wander the curious side streets, rest your feet beside ornate fountains, and stroll the galleries of Siena's fascinating art museums. Don't miss the gothic town hall building, and make sure you also find time to explore the hills and vineyards beyond the village center.
Here are some suggested things to do and see on your visit to Siena:
-Take a culinary and winery tour: There are several tours available in Siena that can take visitors from one Tuscan vineyard to another and offer culinary sampling from some of Siena's world-class restaurants. This is a wonderful opportunity to take in the legendary countryside and experience the delicious traditions of this region.
-Take a Tuscan cooking class: Immerse yourself in Tuscany's culinary traditions by taking a cooking class. Many available courses are taught by accomplished Italian chefs.
-Visit the Siena Cathedral: Many visitors consider this the most beautiful religious site in Italy. Observe the classic Gothic architecture and intricate carvings of the exterior.
-See the Piazza del Campo: As the heart of Siena, this is an excellent starting point for a walking tour of the city. If you visit during July and August, the square will be alive with noise and excitement surrounding the Palio horse races that take place here.
-Visit the Torre del Mangia: For breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscape, climb the Tower of Mangia. Constructed in 1325, the tower rises up about 290 feet.
-Explore the National Archeological Museum of Siena: This building itself is a destination. Originally constructed as a pilgrim's hostel, it has been a hospital since the 10th century.
No matter what time of year you plan to arrive here, you'll have no trouble finding a vacation rental that meets your needs. In the heart of the village, within reach of the town square, you can book a condo or apartment in what may be a 13th century structure. You can also easily rent a beautiful Tuscan villa with views of the city or the rolling inland hills.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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