Siena could make a good day trip from Florence or place to base yourself if you plan to check out nearby wine regions of Tuscany. In my case, I was in Siena to document a wedding at a beautiful Tuscan villa. I arrived a day early and made the most of the few hours by strolling through the historic centre. Siena is a quaint little town compared to Florence, small buildings that are closer together, narrower streets and less presence of big brands. To me it also felt like a spiral maze which I wouldn’t try walking through without google maps in hand. I’m not sure if I saw what Siena had to offer in the few hours I had free (especially that I didn’t go into or climb up churches) but I felt like I saw a fair amount.
From Florence to Siena
I had the option to either bus or train into Siena from Florence. Train sounded a lot easier but in actual fact taking the bus was the better option as the train station was a pretty long walk from the old town (where most of the attractions are) where as the bus stops close to the centre. There were 2 buses you could take, the rapid bus (190R) or the normal bus (190O) and there is a difference of 20-30mins in travel time. My advice is to take the rapid service which goes straight there without any other stops! On the way there I took the normal bus because I thought, by the time I waited for the next rapid bus I would arrive around the same time. But, the normal buses are double decker buses, old, and dirty.. luckily I had some pretty stunning views to distract me! The rapid buses which are single level and newer. I took the rapid bus back to Florence on my last day, and they sure travel fast! (expect traffic getting into Florence though). I was able to buy tickets on the day of my trips, just had to make sure I arrive 15-30min before the bus departs.
“Wild Boar” dishes seem to be a specialty here
Piazza Del Campo – is the centre of Siena, pick a random spot to chill at and people watch at the same time.
A quick google search comes up with a few recommended places for dinner in Siena. I went with Zest which was just a short minute or 2 walk from my hotel.
L: Carpaccio of Octopus with fennel, dill and orange vinaigrette // R: Tuscan rolled pasta tossed with a ragout of Wild Boar & thyme
Zest sits half way up on a steep hill, I chose to sit outside. This was my view. To self: YES YOU’RE IN ITALY.
View of Siena’s “stripey”, gothic cathedral sitting pretty grand up on the hill – got a majority of this view from my room!