A November 1999 trip
to Siena by travel2000
Quote: Simly enchanting...we had three Italian friends take us through this medieval town. We spent one whole day exploring the narrow streets and marveling at all the wonderful sights.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2000
All over Siena
I recently went back for a second visit this Spring and found the food to be much better. The menu is still deep in Tuscan tradition. This osteria is also a member of the "Slow Food" movement.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 3, 2000
La Taverna del Capitano
Via del Capitano, 6/8
Siena, Italy 53100
Restaurant | "Osteria La Chiacchera"
This is an excellent place to have a traditional Sienese meal at very low prices. They don’t charge cover or service , the norm at most restaurants. This translates into a savings of at least a few euro’s per person.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 17, 2002
Osteria della Chiacchiera
Via Costa S. Antonio, 4
Siena, Italy 53100
The food here is now very good and a nice break from the heavier tradition Tuscan fare. The menu still has Sienese flavour. Try the Pici with hare ragu (al lepre.) Pici is a hand-rolled pasta that are long thick strands, very typical of the area. The duck breast is very good. But the main highlight for me was the dining atmosphere. How often can you dine in a a dining room that is actually part of an Etruscan tomb!
Opened daily for lunch and dinner.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 16, 2002
Antica Osteria da Divo
Via Franciosa 29
Prices are very reasonable and it is closed on Sundays.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on May 16, 2002
Fortezza Medicea, Viale Maccari
Hours: Apr-Oct 7am-12:55pm and 3-6:30pm; Nov-Mar 9am-12:55pm and 3-6pm
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 2, 2000
San Domenico Church
Piazza del Campo
Siena, Tuscany 53100
Attraction | "Palazzo Pubblico"
Admission: EUR6.20 to the Museo Civico; EUR9.30 combination ticket with Torre del Mangia.
Torre del Mangia
Hours: M-F: Jan 6 to Feb, Nov to Dec 24: 10am to 3:30pm
Mar, May to Jun, Sep, and Dec 27 to Jan 5 to 6pm; Apr and Oct to 5pm; and Jul to Aug to 7:30pm.
Open Sunday 10am to 1:30pm throughout the year.
Admission is 7,000L
Piazza del Campo
Attraction | "Duomo"
Web site: www.operaduomo.it
Hours: Mar 16-Oct daily 9am-7:30pm; Nov-Mar 15 daily 7:30am-1pm and 2:30-5pm
Free admission to church
Siena Cathedral/Duomo di Siena
Piazza Del Duomo
Siena, Italy 53100
The church itself is huge, from the 13th century. The masterpiece housed in the church is the "Madonna del Bordone" by Coppo di Marcovaldo. Other chapels inside the church has frescoes and other paintings from the baroque to renaissance periods (Matteo di Giovanni’s "Massacre of the Innocents.")
Chiesa di Santa Maria del Servi
Piazza A. Manzoni
Attraction | "Lo Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala"
Some of the beautiful frescoes you will see includes the "Meeting at Porta Andrea" by Domenico Beccafumi, located close to the entrance and ticket booth. In the Sala del Pellegrinaio, there are fresco scenes depicting the history of the hospital. This room actually had hospital beds in it until just a few years ago.
You exit the hospital through the church of Santissima Annunziata, which has a bronze Christ over the altar.
Opened from Nov-Feb daily 10:30am-4:30pm; from Mar-Oct daily 10:30am-6pm.
Admission about 4.13 Euro (8,000L) adults, children under 11 free.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 17, 2002
Santa Maria Della Scala
Siena, Tuscany, Italy 53100
Attraction | "Palazzo Chigi-Saracini"
At one time, it was the seat of the Consiglio dei Reggitori della Repubblica Senese and today it houses the prestigious Accademia Musicale Chigiana, founded in 1932 by the Count Guido Chigi-Saracini.
There is a treasured and interesting collection of art kept here, called the Collezione Chigi Saracini. It includes paintings from the 13th to the 17th century as well as antiques and other collectibles. You can only view this by appointment. Call tel. 0577-46152 for more information.
In the courtyard, you will find a beautiful ancient well that is often photographed.
Palazzo Chigi Saracini
Via di Città, 89
Siena, Italy 53100
This rooms of this house is now a chapel and contains various frescoes by Sienese artists.
This is located on Costa di San Antonio, between Via della Sapienza and Via Santa Caterina.
Open from Easter to October every day, 9am-12:30pm and 2:30-6pm. In the winter months daily 9am-12:30pm and 3:30-6pm.
Admission is free.
Casa di Santa Caterina
Costa di San Antonio
In Siena, one of the oldest and prettiest streets is Casato di Sotto. Upscale stores line via Banchi di Sopra and via di Citta. Pick any of the streets that lead to Piazza del Campo and you can join the locals on their passeggiata.
Siena is famous for its ceramics and embroidery. Famous Sienese sweets include the panforte (a dense sweet cake made with honey, nuts and spices), castagnaccio (a torte made with chestnut flour and pine nuts and rosemary, only made in the fall and winter months), and cavallucci (spiced cookies.) Local products include anything made with cinghiale (boar), olive oil, farro, and porcini mushrooms. Remember to check your country’s customs rules before bringing any food products home.
Food-wise, don’t miss::
La Fattoria Toscana, Via di Citta 51
Offers a good choice of local products in an elegant setting. Choose from aromatic vinegars, special oils, dried tomatoes and porcini mushrooms, and various jams, all beautifully packaged. Excellent resource for gifts to bring home.
Antica Pizzicheria al Palazzo della Chigiana, Via di Citta 93-95
This is a heaven for salami and other "insaccati" (cured meat such as proscuitto etc) products. In addition, there are fresh pastas, homemade sauces and many specialities conserved in oil.
Antica Drogheria Manganelli, Via di Citta 71
Sienese sweets and bottles of homemade pasta sauces, including boar and other game meat.
Consorzio Agrario, Via Pianigiani 15
Farmers from the Tuscan area sell their best products here.
For antiques, check out Taddeucci (via di Citta 136), Degan Tappeti (via Stalloreggi 20) and Il Sigillo (via dei Pellegrini.)
For ceramics and other fine items, visit Negozio dell"Arte (via di Citta 96), Antiche Dimore (via di Citta 115), Bien Vivre (via delle Terme 87) and Il Papiro (via di Citta 37).
No matter which direction you reach it from, you will realize right away when you have entered the "Crete." That is because you will notice the unique change in landscape. The earth takes on a brownish, dark orange hue, sometimes even purple or goldish hues. The reason for these colors is the composition of clay here. The clay rocks were brought here by the sea water in ancient times and is the reason for the rolling landscape.
The change in color is more noticeable at sunset or sunrise, when the sun casts its strong warm light on the land. The "Crete" is exactly the area between Siena and Montepulciano, with the town of Asciano right in the center. The best way to see this area is to take the road that goes from Siena to Asciano.
For a special treat, there is now an old steam train that departs from Siena and runs through Asciano, Monte Antico and Buonceonvento. However, this train only runs on the last two Sundays of September and on Sundays in October. Contact Apt Siena at 0577-280551 for detailed information.
When looking for a place to eat, I have learnt to look for the snail logo on the stickers restaurants put on their entrance windows. This shows that the restaurant uses meat and vegetables produced by local farmers who adhere to traditional methods as well as produce such as cheeses or oils in danger of extinction.
The guidebooks to Italian Osterie and Wines are only in Italian, but the website gives basic listing of members as well as valuable information and lecture notes.
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