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14 Siena Photos that will make you wish you were here

Siena is a beautiful medieval city – and very close to Dievole! If you’re someone who gets inspired to travel through visual prompts, these Siena photos will have you booking a plane ticket for sure! Plan your trip to Tuscany’s second largest city; visit Siena for the Medieval architecture and charm that shine clearly through these images.

 

Piazza del Campo

Siena from above - Piazza del Campo | Siena Photos

Siena from above – Piazza del Campo | Flickr user WiggyToo

Piazza del Campo is the heart of Siena, and an essential destination for all visitors. The main square is built at the intersection of the three roads that lead to and from Siena, designed as a neutral area to hold holidays and events. The square is made of brick divided into 9 sections, each one pointing towards Palazzo Pubblico, the civic headquarters. The 9 sections have a dual meaning – they represent the 9 governors in the government, and symbolically represent the 9 folds in the Virgin Mary’s cloak (who was considered the “ruler” of Siena). This square hosts major events, like horse racing, and is also a perfect place to sit any time of day and appreciate the beauty of this city.

Siena Cathedral & the Piccolomini Chapel

The cathedral facade at sunset | Siena Photos

The cathedral facade at sunset – photo Antonio Cinotti @antoncino

The Siena cathedral is breathtaking from both the exterior and the interior. Whether you’re just passing by and appreciating the stunning architecture, or stopping in to catch a glimpse of the beautiful mosaic floors, marble columns, and etched panels, you will not be disappointed!

The interior of Siena Cathedral with the uncovered floors (high altar) | Siena Photos

The interior of Siena Cathedral with the uncovered floors (high altar) | Photo Alexandra Korey

Inside the Cathedral on the left aisle is the Biblioteca Piccolomini. Built by Pope Pius II’s nephew (later named Pope Pius III), this library is home to a collection of manuscripts, frescoes by Pinturicchio, and a lavishly painted ceiling that prominently features the Pius family crest. If you are an art lover, history lover, or just someone with an appreciation for beauty, this place will blow you mind!

The Piccolomini Library | Siena Photos

The Piccolomini Library was decorated by Pinturicchio and his school

Medieval Streets

Medieval streets | Siena Photos

Medieval streets that charm

Siena is a medieval city and there’s no question that a major part of its charm comes from strolling around its narrow, pedestrian-only streets that are entirely paved in terracotta bricks that merge, when seen from above, with the terracotta roofs. Two main streets, called banchi – di sotto and di sopra – below and above – sum up the centro storico – but we recommend getting lost amongst the many alleys that end in vertigo-inducing views.

Laundry in streets | Siena Photos

What could be cuter than laundry?

Palazzo Pubblico & Torre del Mangia

Palazzo Civico | Siena Photos

The most fun angle to get the Palazzo Civico | Photo Antonio Cinotti @antoncino

Palazzo Pubblico, or the city hall, houses the Museo Civico, the city museum. The museum is filled with frescoes and other attractions like a terrace with beautiful views. This museum is a must for any visitor and is relatively kid friendly too. A fun photo to take here is looking up from its postage-stamp shaped courtyard at the blue sky and famous tower beyond.

Fog in Siena | Siena Photos

A foggy winter morning with Siena’s towers pushing through | Photo Antonio Cinotti

The Palio

Palio di Siena | Siena Photos

Palio di Siena | Photo Angela Sanders

Il Palio is the most important and well-loved events in Siena. The race has many rules and traditions accumulated over centuries. It takes place over the course of 4 days in Piazza del Campo (the race is only on the final day), and includes other traditions like the blessing ceremony of the horses and the parade is historical costume. This event is a highly anticipated unique experience that you won’t forget!

Fountains: Fonte Gaia & Fontebranda

Fontebranda, another amazing fountain in Siena, is a testament to the city’s long history. Built in 1246, this fountain with three basins provided water for the people of the city, the mills, and dyers of cloths. More than just a historic object, Fontebranda also incorporates cutting edge technology into its appeal: lend an ear any day from 9am to 6pm and you will hear a sound art installation under the vaults with the voices of Sienese people from the medieval past.

Fonte Gaia | Siena Photos

A detail of fonte Gaia | Photo Flickr user Marika Bortolami

Speaking of fountains, perhaps the most famous in Siena is the Fonte Gaia, which got its name from the vibrant celebrations of joy (gioia) that occurred when the people of Siena saw water flowing out of the fountain for the first time in 1346. The monumental sculptural fountain is a work by Jacopo della Quercia.

Fontebranda | Siena Photos

Fontebranda

Palazzo Salimbeni

Palazzo Salimbeni | Siena Photos

Palazzo Salimbeni | Photo flickr user Frans de Wit

This palace was built for the wealthy Salimbeni family, and now houses the central office of one of the oldest banks in the world (the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena). Inside, there is a historical archive of the bank and a photo gallery that visitors can stroll through.

Siena from above | Siena Photos

Siena – the whole city is awe-inspiring!

 

A note on the photos: Many are by Antonio Cinotti, assiduous documenter of our province – for more inspiration follow his instagram and read our interview with him.

Main image by Giuseppe Moscato

 

Words by Lydia Palumbo