Just about every corner, glimpse, building profile, even every single brick conveys a centuries-old history whose roots date back to the Middle Ages. The ideal way to visit Siena is on foot, armed with a camera and the patience required to overcome the numerous - often-steep - ups & downs of an old town nestled on a gently hilly area. Several ancient gates are the main entryway to the old town of Siena
Coming from North you will stumble upon Porta Camollia, an old gate surmounted by an engraved inscription that reads the motto "Cor Magis Tibi Sena Pandit", Siena will open a heart bigger (than the gate you're going through). Then, follow the north-south axis along the path of the ancient pilgrimage route known as "Via Francigena", amid picturesque streets and squares full of shops and typical restaurants. Walking along via Banchi di Sopra, which the Sienese call "Il Corso", you will soon reach to Piazza del Campo, where to witness the stunning beauty of Palazzo Pubblico (XIII-XIV century) towered by Torre del Mangia. Every year on July 2 and August 16, the districts of Siena (contrade) challenge each other in this very square in the horserace known as Palio.
Piazza del Campo is definitely an evocative place in itself. However, we also recommend visiting the Civic Museum, open throughout the year, where to admire masterpieces such as the "Buon Governo” fresco series by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (“The Allegory of Good and Bad Government"), housed in the Council Room, or "Guidoriccio da Fogliano "by Simone Martini, hosted in Sala del Mappamondo. If you feel like enhancing your experience, you can even climb atop Torre del Mangia to admire the whole city from above and expand your horizon way beyond the city walls.
After a few minutes’ walk from Piazza del Campo through via di Città, you will soon find Piazza del Duomo, which hosts the imposing eponymous cathedral, the Opera Museum and Santa Maria della Scala, an ancient medieval hospital now become a museum.
Finally, to complete your stay, you can let yourself be conquered by the excellent gastronomic delicacies and local wines at the typical wine bars called “vinai”, which are not hard to spot even in the most hidden streets of this gorgeous medieval city.
The staff of Villa del Sole will be happy to provide you with all of the additional information and directions you might need.
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