Siena is a beautiful city in Tuscany, Italy, that offers many attractions for visitors. Whether you are interested in art, history, culture, or cuisine, you will find something to enjoy in Siena. In this article, we will introduce some of the best things to do in Siena and the top tourist attractions in Siena that you should not miss. From the stunning Piazza del Campo to the majestic Duomo, from the medieval towers to the frescoed palaces, here are some of the top things to do in Siena and the best tourist attractions in Siena that will make your trip unforgettable.
Looking for things to do in Siena? Discover the best tourist attractions in Siena:
1. Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta: A stunning example of Gothic architecture with a striped marble façade and a treasure trove of artworks inside.
2. Piazza del Campo: The heart of Siena’s historic center, where the famous Palio horse race takes place twice a year.
3. Palazzo Pubblico: The elegant medieval town hall that houses the Museo Civico, with frescoes by Lorenzetti and Simone Martini.
4. Torre del Mangia: The soaring tower that offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
5. Basilica of San Domenico: A massive brick church that contains the relics of St. Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of Italy.
6. Pinacoteca Nazionale: The national art gallery that displays a collection of Sienese paintings from the 13th to the 16th centuries.
7. Santa Maria della Scala: A former hospital and pilgrim hostel that is now a cultural center with museums and exhibitions.
8. Basilica of San Francesco: A 13th-century Franciscan church that features a crypt with frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
9. Palazzo Salimbeni: The headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the oldest bank in the world, dating back to 1472.
10. Fonte Gaia: A beautiful fountain in Piazza del Campo, decorated with sculptures by Iacopo della Quercia.
11. Palazzo Chigi-Saracini: A 12th-century palace that hosts the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, a prestigious music school and concert venue.
12. Orto Botanico dell’Università di Siena: A botanical garden that belongs to the University of Siena, founded in 1588.
13. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo: A museum that showcases the original sculptures and stained glass from the cathedral, as well as the famous Maestà by Duccio di Buoninsegna.
14. Porta Romana: The oldest and most imposing gate in the city walls, built in the 13th century.
15. Basilica dell’Osservanza: A Renaissance church that overlooks the city from a hilltop, with a cloister and a museum.
16. Fortezza Medicea: A 16th-century fortress that was built by Cosimo I de’ Medici to control Siena after his conquest.
17. Museo di Storia Naturale dell’Accademia dei Fisiocritici: A natural history museum that displays fossils, minerals, animals, and plants from Tuscany and beyond.
18. Palazzo Piccolomini: A Renaissance palace that was designed by Bernardo Rossellino for Pope Pius II, who was born in Siena.
19. Complesso Museale Santa Maria della Scala: A complex of museums that includes the Archaeological Museum, the Art Museum for Children, and the Contemporary Art Museum.
20. Biblioteca Piccolomini: A library that was founded by Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini, who later became Pope Pius III, and contains rare manuscripts and books.
21. Battistero di San Giovanni: A baptistery that is part of the cathedral complex, with a hexagonal font and bronze panels by Donatello and Ghiberti.
22. Museo delle Tavolette di Biccherna: A museum that displays the painted wooden covers of the account books of the city’s treasury, dating from the 13th to the 18th centuries.
23. Oratorio di San Bernardino: An oratory that was built in honor of St. Bernardino of Siena, a popular preacher and reformer who died in 1444.
24. Sinagoga di Siena: The synagogue of Siena, which was built in 1786 on the site of an older one, and is still active today.
25. Casa di Santa Caterina: The birthplace and home of St. Catherine of Siena, which has been turned into a shrine and a museum dedicated to her life and works.
26. Museo Ebraico e Sinagoga di Pitigliano: A Jewish museum and synagogue in Pitigliano, a town near Siena that was once known as «Little Jerusalem» for its large Jewish community.
27. Palazzo Tolomei: The oldest private palace in Siena, dating from the 13th century, and owned by the Tolomei family, one of the most powerful in the city.
28. Museo di Palazzo Pubblico e Torre del Mangia: A museum that occupies the upper floors of the Palazzo Pubblico, with paintings, sculptures, and furniture from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
29. Basilica di Provenzano: A baroque church that was built on the site of a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, and is the starting point of one of the Palio races.
30. Orto de’ Pecci: A garden and a farm that is run by a social cooperative, and offers a green oasis in the city center, with a restaurant and a playground.
31. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Siena: A national archaeological museum that exhibits artifacts from prehistoric, Etruscan, Roman, and medieval times, as well as from Egypt and the Near East.
32. Palazzo Sansedoni: A Gothic palace that was built in the 14th century for the Sansedoni family, and is now the seat of the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena, a cultural institution.
33. Chiesa di San Martino: A Romanesque church that was founded in the 12th century, and contains a painting of the Madonna and Child by Simone Martini.
34. Museo Bambimus: A museum for children that offers interactive exhibits and workshops on art, science, and nature.
35. Chiesa di San Cristoforo: A church that dates back to the 11th century, and has a Romanesque façade and a Gothic interior.
36. Museo d’Arte Sacra della Val d’Arbia: A museum of sacred art that displays paintings, sculptures, and liturgical objects from the churches of the Val d’Arbia, a valley south of Siena.
37. Chiesa di Sant’Agostino: A 13th-century church that belongs to the Augustinian order, and has a Gothic façade and a baroque interior.
38. Museo dell’Antica Grancia e dell’Olio: A museum that is housed in an ancient granary, and illustrates the history and production of olive oil in Tuscany.
39. Chiesa di San Niccolò al Carmine: A 14th-century church that was once part of a Carmelite convent, and has frescoes by Pietro Lorenzetti and Matteo di Giovanni.
40. Museo della Tortura: A museum that displays instruments of torture from different periods and places, as well as information on human rights violations.
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