If you have only a day and a half to visit a city, you must choose wisely what to do pinpointing the essential stages and finding hidden gems to make your route more original.
We know that many tourists make short trips and with this article we thought to their demands: what is the must-see in Siena in 36 hours?
We answer with an itinerary that includes some of the most popular spots, some new places and lesser-known venues in the town of Palio.
We designed an itinerary that starts on the morning of the first day and end on the afternoon of the second day, but any traveler can choose when to go to his favorite spots.
Art Masterpieces in Siena
It is assumed that the journey begins at Piazza del Campo, where 2 times a year takes place the Palio, but nearby there are numerous sights such as the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, next to the Cathedral, a must for those who want to know what masterpieces are kept in Siena.
The most important painting of the pre-Renaissance era is certainly the Maestà by Duccio di Buoninsegna, located on the first floor of the museum.
In the following picture you can admire the stained glass window of the Assumption made by Duccio, which is now on the wall of the entrance hall of the museum.
The first espresso in Siena
More than 100 years ago, in 1911, Guido Nannini opened the first bar in Siena with the machine for making espresso, a rarity at the time.
Today there are 3 Nannini bars; we recommend going to the bar at Via Banchi di Sopra 24 to take a break before continuing our tour of 36 hours.
Have a coffee in the heart of the historic center and enjoy some of the Senese sweets (like panforte or Ricciarelli) is an inviting way to feel the right “mood”: Siena is a town that knows how to fascinate people thanks to its genuine flavors and the excellence of its products.
Piazza Salimbeni isn’t one of the most popular sights in Siena, but we think this place encloses the variety of architectural styles in the historic center.
The square, in fact, is enclosed on three sides by Palazzo Salimbeni, designed in Gothic style, the Palace Spannocchi, on the right of the square, which is in Renaissance style, and the Palace Tantucci, on the left, in Baroque style.
Today here are the offices of the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena and at Palazzo Salimbeni is also an Art Gallery, which houses paintings of the Senese school dating back to XVI and XVII centuries.
Medicea Fortress and Enoteca Italiana
The first part of our tour ends in the fortress that today hosts the public gardens La Lizza; this is a venue for events and, above all, the headquarter of Enoteca Italiana, the national institute created to promote the best wines of Italy.
After taking a stroll in the gardens of the Medicea Fortress, we suggest a tour of the Enoteca, where you can taste the finest vintages and learn to recognize the differences between the wines thanks to expert sommeliers.
At the elegant wine bar you can enjoy wine tastings along with delicious Tuscan dishes, a very cool aperitif!
Salefino Vino & Cucina
There are many restaurants and trattoria in Siena, this time we want to suggest a new place, located at a few meters from Piazza del Campo, Salefino.
The restaurant also has outdoor seating and is renowned for its menu with fish based dishes, in addition to an excellent selection of wines and some of the delicious Senese speciies. We think it’s a tasty proposal for a pleasant evening in the town center.
Battistero di San Giovanni
On the second day of the holiday you should visit the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John), a Gothic church famous for being the meeting point of the greatest masters of the Italian Renaissance.
Look at the baptismal font, carved in marble, bronze and vitreous enamel by various artists such as Jacopo della Quercia, Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Giovanni di Turino.
If you are curious about the most representative works of art of the XV century in Siena, the frescoed ceilings of the Baptistery are a must-see, because are the most successful example of the artists ability depicting the religious stories.
Sanctuary of Saint Catherine of Siena
St. Catherine of Siena is the patron saint of Italy and Europe together with St. Francis of Assisi and is a very important figure in the history of the town.
To pay homage to Santa Caterina we recommend a visit to the sanctuary, which includes the house of Santa Caterina, the Chiesa del Crocefisso and the oratories.
Walking through the rooms of the Sanctuary you will discover the most important events that occurred during the life of the Saint.
The Sanctuary is open to the public from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Enoteca Tre Cristi
One of the most popular restaurants in Siena is Ristorante Enoteca Tre Cristi, which owes its name to an ancient tabernacle.
This is a historic restaurant has had as guests the likes of Paul Eluard and Giuseppe Ungaretti, while today it is a favorite destination for foodies, by virtue of creative and tasty dishes invented by the chef.
Celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of Siena at lunch, before leaving with the promise of a return and the feeling of having experienced very thrilling days.
Choose your ideal itinerary to follow in 36 hours, these tips are a starting point to make your own dream holiday in Siena.