A web of densely packed terracotta roofs, medieval facades and cobbled streets fan out from the famous Piazza del Campo to form historic Siena. Far less populated than the tourist centers of Florence and Rome, hotels in Siena make the ideal base to explore the charms of Tuscany while on vacation in Italy. Having said this, the city itself contains a multitude of wonderful sights, exceptional Tuscan cuisine and gorgeous 5 star hotels for the perfect Siena city break.
Step back in time with a hotel in Siena – the perfect spot to explore a stunning medieval city alongside the rich Tuscan countryside. According to legend, the city was founded by sons of Remus, who along with his brother Romulus is thought to have founded Rome. This means that the symbol of Siena is two infants suckling from a she-wolf – an image you’ll find yourself encountering throughout your stay. The focal point of the city is the sloped Piazza del Campo, the site of the famous Palio. Held each summer, this intensely competitive race draws visitors from all over Italy to watch horses (each one representing a different area – or contrade – of the city) race against each other. If you want to skip this exciting, albeit hectic, event you don’t have to be too picky because the city is a gem at all times of year. When the Il Campo isn’t crammed with thousands of screaming locals, it’s an idyllic place to sit and enjoy a slice of pizza or a gelato. Overlooking the piazza is the 13th century Palazzo Pubblico with its imposing Torre del Mangia. If you’re feeling energetic, you can climb the tower’s 400 steps for incredible sweeping views over Siena’s rooftops and the rolling Tuscan hills beyond. Another cultural site to explore is the beautiful Romanesque-Gothic Duomo, decorated with elaborate frescoes, paintings and sculptures. Siena’s Museo Civico showcases further gorgeous works from artists of Sienese history. One of the best things about a hotel in Siena is the ability to simply exit your accommodation and be plunged into the city’s ancient streets; lined with boutique stores, pasticcerie (pastry stores) and cafés serving shot after shot of exceptional Italian espresso.
Only around an hour by train from hotels in Siena, the majestic city of Florence beckons visitors with its historic wonders, world-famous art and a buzzing atmosphere. During the summer, Florence heaves with visitors, so it’s best to visit during the off-season if possible – or be able to return to the relative peace of a hotel in Siena at the end of a busy day. First-time visitors to Florence should not miss the incredible Gothic façade of the sprawling Duomo, which is free to enter. A climb up to Brunelleschi’s Cupola is recommended to admire the rich views over the city below, but you must reserve your spot in advance. To see some of the world’s most famous works of art, don’t skip the chance to visit Michelangelo’s David, housed inside the Galleria dell’Accademia, or the works of da Vinci, Botticelli and Caravaggio at the Uffizi Gallery. An hour west of Florence is another famed Italian destination – Pisa. Best-known for its Leaning Tower, Pisa is surprisingly diverse and ideal for a daytrip from either Florence, or your hotel in Siena. After you have admired the Leaning Tower and cathedral in the stunning Piazza dei Miracoli, which is home to some of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in Italy, you can head to the Tuscan coast. Here you’ll be able to explore the charming seaside town of Marina di Pisa and even spend an afternoon relaxing on the sandy Marina di Vecchiano beach.
Tuscany is one of the most romantic regions of Italy, so why not head out and explore it with a hotel in Siena – which conveniently lies in the heart of the area. The winding roads and medieval hilltop villages which punctuate the landscape are a joy to discover on your own terms, but why not begin with an excursion to Pienza – a stunning Renaissance town with breathtaking views over Tuscany’s iconic landscape. Stroll the sun-kissed streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and pick up ceramics, art and slices of delectable Italian Prosciutto to enjoy back at your hotel. North of Siena is the Chianti region, known for its exceptional rich red wines. Here, vineyard hotels are located in rustic farmhouses overlooking the lush Tuscan hills, with access to wine tastings in the charming Chianti towns of Gaiole and Panzano. From your hotel in Siena, not only is the majesty of this stunning city right outside, but one of the world’s most romantic vacation destinations stretches out for miles around, waiting to be discovered with loved ones.