A step back in centuries: Siena

Art is certainly what has most influenced Siena, making it one of the most visited tourist city: Piazza del Campo, the Duomo, Palazzo Comunale and the Torre del Mangia attract visitors from around the world.  A simple walk through its narrow streets is a step back in centuries. Siena is also famous for wine and food, the Italian Wine Cellar, located in the Medici Fortress, has a selection of typical food and the ancient Sienese sweets, like ricciarelli, gingerbread, the copate and cavallucci.

Piazza del Campo.

Piazza del Campo

The square has always been the place where Sienese meet, the spot they have always considered to be the “showplace” of the city. Here is the centre of city life and government. One of the most important civic buildings in the Gothic style, the Palazzo Pubblico has always been the seat of government. Inside the Palace is the Civic Museum, that houses masterpieces like Simone Martini’s Maestà and his Guidoriccio da Fogliano, and The Effects of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. An equally spectacular surprise awaits those who climb the 400 steps of the Torre del Mangia. From up there, your eye sweeps over the entire city, its towers, gates, narrow streets, and red brick houses

Piazza del Duomo

The Romanesque-Gothic cathedral of Siena dominates Piazza del Duomo. lf you are up to climbing 130 steps, you will be rewarded by the view from the Facciatone, or “big façade,” which would have been the front of the New Cathedral of Siena. Here is one of the highest points of the city, and all of Siena unfolds before your eyes. Another artistic jewel in this square is Santa Maria della Scala, one of the oldest hospitals in the world, and today an internationally famous cultural centre.

Il Mercato nel Campo

mercato in piazzaMore than 700 years ago the weekly market was held in the Piazza del Campo. A couple of years ago the Comune decided to evoke the ancient tradition organising a typical market in the suggestive Piazza. Every year in December the event take place. Visitors can taste and buy Pecorino, honey, Cinta Senese cold cuts and meats, saffron, vegetables and fruits. Leather, ceramic, antique furniture are also showed int he stalls. The market lasts for two days usually first week-end of December.

Il Palio – 2nd July and 16th August

palioDefinitely the best-known and most exciting traditional Italian festival and the only one to have taken place, without interruption, from the 14th century until today. Initially the Palio took place only on July 2nd, in honour of the Madonna di Provenzano, and was run through the city streets without any particular rules. In the 18th century, the race began to be held on August 16th as well, in honour of the Madonna of the Assumption, and rules were established which still apply today. The 17 quarters “Contrade” which Siena is divided into can enter for the Palio, but horses from only ten quarters, drawn by lot, actually race. There’s a magnificent procession in costume before the race featuring the famous flag-throwers from each contrada.

To book your villa near Siena contact Tuscan Views. 

Advertisements

Top 5 villas for foodies

Whether you’re looking to embark on a culinary journey exploring Tuscany’s famous enotecas, trattorias and vineyards, or perhaps prefer to have the very best of Tuscan cuisine cooked freshly for you in the comfort of your own Villa, here are five delectable Tuscan villas, perfect for those with an appetite for food as well as travel.

     

Janine – San Casciano dei Bagni (SI) 

a_janine

An ideal escape for foodies who are looking for culinary inspiration, Janine is located in the Siena countryside and is a short stroll away from a number of wonderful restaurants, including XX. Popular with the locals this jewel of a restaurant offers an intimate terrace for al fresco dining, and an array of dishes that are sure to inspire. Alternatively head back to the luxury villa for a cookery class hosted by your chef, and enjoy the fruits of your labour in the villa’s beautiful vine-covered pergola.

Sitting room

 

 

Serratone – Gavorrano (GR)

Swimming poolSerratone is the ultimate escape for beach lovers and its close proximity to the coast makes it a haven for those with a penchant for seafood. Chose to dine at the numerous seafood restaurants which hug the cobalt blue coastline, or alternatively buy your own fresh fish from the local market, and watch your chef prepare it for you in the comfort of your villa.

 

Tramonto – Val d’Orcia (SI)

Swimming poolLuxury villa Tramonto is nestled in the heart of the wine region, and is the perfect holiday spot for wine enthusiasts. Indulge in a wine tour through Val D’Orcia to sample some of the world’s best grapes. Upon your return to the villa, your wonderful housekeeper will have prepared a delicious Tuscan meal leaving you to sit back, relax and enjoy the views through the large dining room

main view

windows, which overlook the Tuscan vineyards and cypress trees.

Il Maggio – Sarteano (SI)

Spa areaIl Maggio is an extraordinary property perfect for those who love learning how to cook. Upon arrival, you will receive a Tuscan food hamper containing all the fresh local ingredients to be used to prepare an authentic Tuscan meal with the help of Chef Stella Severini.

b_maggioFor culinary inspiration, visit the local village’s amazing selection of restaurants to sample authentic Italian dishes.

Duomo – Florence 

View from sitting roomUpon check into Duomo, guests will find themselves immersed in a foodies paradise. This luxury apartment is located in the heart of Florence and is surrounded by osterias, trattorias, entocas and fine dining restaurants galore. Guests can be taken on a gastronomic tour around the city centre including a visit of the famous Mercato Centrale, a place where some of the best Tuscan chefs find their own inspiration.

Experience of a lifetime: Osteria tour

Our aim is to let our guests discover the real and authentic Tuscan lifestyle organising tours and activities with the best local suppliers.

One of our guests favourite tour is the Siena’s Osteria tour to eat like locals do.
The tour starts with the “Colazione”  in a local “bottega” with traditional Tuscan specialities Cinta Senese ham, salsicce e capocollo, fresh Pecorino cheese… Locals love to start here the day with a panino and “gottino” ( small glass of red wine).
After the “Colazione” you’ll take a relaxing stroll through the narrow streets of Siena to discover ancient corners with incredible views !
Lunch time at a local Osteria  a real traditional treat. Old recipes such as Ribollita, Zuppa di Fagioli e Farro, lasagne,crostini, salumi di cinta senese, polpette di carne, sformato di verdure fresche, fresh and aged pecorino cheese, acciughe sotto pesto…..all served with red house wine and the chance to make new friends and meet the locals.

The day ends with some gelato or typical Tuscan sweets.
Voted the tour of the year by our guests!
Book through Tuscan Views
Prices vary according to the number of guests.
Length: 4 hours – From Monday to Saturday.

Top 3 villas with a view

Bellavista – Val d’Orcia (SI)

A charming stone farmhouse with breathtaking views of the Val d’Orcia. Carefully restored with great attention to the details. A large dining out area to enjoy the stunning ever-changing landscape of the valley below, a heated swimming pool and a barbecue area.

From € 5,200 per week – 5 Beds – 5 Baths – Sleeps 10

 

Villa Verde 1 – San Casciano dei Bagni (SI)

A romantic country villa a few steps from the luxurious Fonteverde spa in San Casciano dei Bagni.As you walk in you feel the warmth of a real country house, the attention to the details and the modern comforts give the final touch to this enchanting villa. The pool is surrounded by lavender and roses and has wonderful views over the valley, the pergola is the perfect place for dining out watching beautiful sunsets across Tuscan countryside.

From € 8,600 per week – 7 Beds – 7 Baths – Sleeps 13

 

I Cipressi – Val d’Orcia (SI)

I Cipressi enjoys a privileged position in Val d’Orcia, just in front of the famous cypress road that winds up the Crete on the opposite hill, the most photographed views of Tuscany. The house is surrounded by olive groves, wheat fields and cypresses.

From € 3,250 per week – 4 Beds – 5 Baths – Sleeps 8