Siena Journals

One Day in Siena

A May 2004 trip to Siena by JulieHolm

Ristorante alla Esperanza Photo, Siena, Italy More Photos
Quote: Pleasantly located within day-trip distance of both Assisi and Florence, Siena is a fascinating medieval town. The Piazza del Campo, considered the most beautiful Piazza in Italy, is a shell-shaped horse track. The Black and White Duomo is unique. Learn about the Contradas and visit St. Catherine's head.

One Day in Siena


Streets of Siena Photo, Siena, Italy
The Duomo and the Piazza del Campo are the big must-dos in Siena. However, wander around the streets and see how everyone has decorated doors, stoops, fountains, and churches with the signs of their Contradas. The church of San Domenico has visible relics of St. Catherine of Siena, famous for ending the Babylonian captivity of the Pope. Quick Tips: This is definitely a walking city. Driving is inconvenient and difficult. But it is quite hilly; if you have health concerns, you might get a taxi ride to a high point in town and walk down. This is a great place to shop, with a wide variety of shops and goods available. Best Way To Get Around: Feet are the best. The town is small and...Read More
Ristorante alla Esperanza Photo, Siena, Italy
This pizzeria is located on the Piazza del Campo, where you can watch the world go buy and have a good view of everything. We lunched with friends and all got pizza or sandwiches. Mark and I had iced tea with lemon and shared a pizza with mushrooms, artichokes, and black olives (whole black olives with pits). It was wonderful and probably as good as any pizza we'd had in Italy, short of Naples itself. The rest of our group, about eight people, were likewise very impressed.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 5, 2005

Ristorante alla Esperanza
On the Piazza del Campo
Siena, Italy

Contrada of the Snail Photo, Siena, Italy
Part neighborhood, part parish, part pep club, and part family, the contrade of Siena are like no other municipal organization in the world. Based around the churches and the life of the church community, the 17 contrade are districts in Siena, liberally marked with the sign of the mascot of the contrada. People grow up as panthers, snails, dragons, or whatever, attend the contrada church, and are baptised and confirmed there as part of this unique community. Each contrada has a colorful flag, marked with the colors and the mascots of the contrada. And each contrada may sponsor a horse in the famous Palio or a horserace in the Piazza del Campo, the large, shell-shaped plaza at the cente...Read More