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Top Rated Attractions in Siena

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Banchi di Sopra

This street in Siena is best known for being an ideal location for passeggiata, a slow evening stroll common among locals. Upscale stores and shops line the road and draw many tourists for relaxing evenings of window shopping. Things are centered around the large retail anchor, Upim. Keep an eye out also for some great pastries, like the panforte at Nannini. This street is located near the Piazza del Campo.

Cathedral of Siena

Duomo di Siena, Siena's Cathedral, as it is seen today, stands on a plot of land that has always been dedicated to religion. Archaeological research has shown that there was a shrine built here as early as the 3rd Century. The Church of Santa Maria was built on top of that and then the current Duomo, which began at the end of the 12th Century. It is based on a Latin cross design with three naves. The polychrome marble facade is quite extraordinary. The entrance to the Libreria Piccolomini can be found in the nave on the left. The area dedicated to religious functions is enclosed and must not be entered during Mass as a sign of respect. Photographs are not allowed inside and all mobile phones should be turned off whether services are being held or not.

Basilica of San Domenico

The Basilica of San Domenico, also known as Basilica Cateriniana, is named after the catholic mystic and theologian Saint Catherine of Siena, whose family home is located nearby. The church contains several of the saint’s relics and her codex. Built by Dominicans on the hills of the Camporegio in the early 13th century, the church was expanded in the Gothic style two centuries later and is one of the most popular among tourists in Siena. Pilgrims are drawn to pray in front of the relics of Saint Catherine, who is one of the two patron saints of Italy along with Saint Francis of Assisi.

Torre del Mangia

Once one of the tallest secular towers in medieval Italy, the Torre del Mangia looms over the Piazza del Campo with its clock face, brick shaft, and stone and marble loggia. The tower was named after its first bell-ringer, nicknamed Mangiaguadagni, or ‘profit-eater,’ who was known to spend his earnings in local taverns. It is said that the part of the tower built in brick was a gesture toward the Italian commoner, while its height, which is the same as the city’s cathedral, was meant to signal that the adjacent town hall had power equal to the church. A climb to the top is rewarded with lovely views of the campo and Tuscan countryside.

Museo di Storia Naturale

The Museo di Storia Naturale dell’Accademia dei Fisiocritici is a great place to learn about the history of science in Siena. The academy after which the museum is named after was founded in 1691 and was one of the first of its kind in Europe. Visitors can examine a vast collection of terra-cotta models of mushrooms, check out a zoological exhibition of conserved marine mammals collected from the Tuscan coast, and explore an archive of hand-written documents about the history of the academy dating back to the 17th Century.

Chapel Vitaleta

Perched on a hill in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, the Chapel of the Madonna of Vitaleta is inarguably one of the most famous churches in the region. While it may not be ornate in its design, it holds great significance since it once housed the famous Renaissance statue of Madonna. With sprawling lawns and the few towering trees that flank the chapel, this exceptionally picturesque chapel is a sight to behold.

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