Siena for the Day
Siena is a popular destination in southern Tuscany and if you have been you know why. It is a gorgeous hilltop town located about 30 minutes from the B&B. It is known for many things including the Palio horse race and its Duomo. The Palio usually takes place in early July and tickets sell out months in advance. The Duomo is spectacular, especially at sunset. We recommend doing the tour at sunset so you can climb the stairs to the top and see all of Siena and Tuscany as the sun goes down and the colors change in the sky. The inside of the Duomo is one of the best I have seen in Italy, and I have toured many many churches. The floors are usually covered however once a year, they open up the floors for everyone to see (usually around September and October). They are unlike anything you have ever seen with the multicolored marble mosaics.
Siena also has great shopping, restaurants, and piazzas filled with events throughout the summer. If you want restaurant recommendations, need help making reservations, or looking for other tips to do in Siena, let us know when you are coming, and we can send you many recommendations. I have provided a few of our favorite restaurants and parking tips below.
La Taverna San Giuseppe - This is a down to earth but slightly upscale Michelin Star restaurant that has an approachable but elevated touch to the finest Tuscan cuisine. You will not find these menus items just anywhere which is why we think it is so special. Reservations are a must because this restaurant can fill up weeks in advance.
Antica Trattoria Papei - Located just down the hill from the Piazza del Campo, this place is super friendly offering traditional Tuscan cuisine. They also have outdoor seating.
Vineria Tirabusciò - Small and cozy, this wine bar is perfect if you are looking for small bites to eat, and or snacks while you taste some local wine. There is a full menu of crostoni's which are all delicious making it hard to choose. They usually have some natural wines on the menu and unique wines you don't normally see. Because it is so small, you have to time it right in order to get a seat. Go right before Italians typically eat lunch which is around 1pm or go right at the tail end of lunch around 3pm and you should be able to snag a seat.
There is plenty of parking around the walls of Siena but its best to know where you are going before you arrive. The historic area is a ZTL so do not try to drive into the historic center.
Il Campo Parking - In my opinion, this is the best parking garage because when you exit you are basically in the historic center, its covered, and its at the top of the hill. In google maps, type in "Il Campo Parking" or "Parking II Campo" or "Parcheggio Il Campo" and maps will take you right to the entrance. You will have to technically enter the gates into the historic center before making a quick right towards the parking garage but not to worry, this is how you get to the entrance.
There are many other parking lots in and around Siena if this one happens to be full so don't worry. If you end up parking at the bottom of the hill, there are usually escalators that help you get to the top because it is a steep climb.
This photo is of the main piazza in Siena - Piazza del Campo and it is where the Palio horse race takes place. I was able to take this photo from the top of the Duomo when I did the sunset tour. The views are well worth the wait.