Siena

Founded by the Etruschis, Siena was Roman colony to the time of August.


Siena - Piazza del CampoFounded by the Etruschis, Siena was Roman colony to the time of August. It became Episcopalian center in 700 after the occupation longobarda, but in the XI secolo' was affirmed as secular commune. Sour struggles divided Siena from Florence, so much that this last, in 1260, Montaperti was defeated to.
After being governed by varied dominions, the city fell under the imperial dominion and entered to belong to the state Mediceo, then of that Lorenese up to 1859, gives in which was attached to the Kingdom of ltalia.

The beautiful view of Siena and its territory painted in 1338 by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico to illustrate The Effects of Good Government under the Council of Nine is not only one of the most famous images in medieval art, but also an extremely meaningful testimonial to the extent to which the city and countryside were integrated at the time of the ancient Republic of Siena.

The civilization and culture of Siena are the fruit of this integration, manifested today not only in the evocative medieval appearance of the city but also in the enchanting landscape of the surrounding territory, which was shaped not only by the remarkable achievements of the finest Sienese artists but also by centuries of daily labor.
A network of museums spread throughout the Sienese territory now offers an extraordinary opportunity to comprehend this fact in all its complexity, offering the visitor some thirty museums, very different from each other in size and subject matter. They house materials exemplifying the archaeological, art-historical, and anthropological heritage of the area of Siena, set in the context of the land where these materials were produced.
This system of museums thus represents a unique witness to the stratified cultural identity of the Sienese area, documented not only by priceless archaeological finds from prehistoric, Etruscan, and Roman times and inestimable art works from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and later, but also by vestiges of the peasant and industrial worlds, investigated through specific museum itineraries.

Siena - DomePrehistory and antiquity
The earliest traces of human settlement in the province of Siena are found in the area of Monte Cetona and are today documented by archaeological and prehistoric exhibits in the Museo Civico per la Preistoria del Monte Cetona and the Parco Archeologico Naturalistico di Belverde, where the phases of the inhabitation of these sites can be traced from the Paleolithic period to the Bronze Age.
With regard to the Etruscans and Romans, once again it is the southern part of the province – dominated by the powerful lucomony of Chiusi – that preserves the most important evidence, as shown by the material on display in the epigraphical section of the Museo Civico in Chiusi, the Museo Civico Archeologico in Sarteano (containing the reconstructed late seventh century B.C. Etruscan chamber tomb featuring a pair of Canopic jars for the deceased couple’s ashes) and the Museo Civico Archeologico delle Acque in Chianciano Terme (with the beautiful remnants of a terracotta acroterion datable around 150 B.C., found at a site called I Fucoli).
Piazza del Campo - SienaBut the signs of Etruscan and Roman civilizations are visible all over the Sienese territory, as evidenced by the material in the Museo Archeologico in Colle Val d’Elsa or the archeological sections of the civic museums of Asciano, Casole d’Elsa, and San Gimignano.
Very fine terracotta pieces from two Etruscan palaces that once stood on Poggio Civitate can be admired today in the Museo Archeologico in Murlo.
Art from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age
During the late Middle Ages, Siena was one of the great European capitals. The city’s strategic position on the Via Francigena facilitated trade for its merchants and brought great wealth to a city that was able to administrate itself democratically and enlarge the boundaries of its territory until it covered a large part of southern Tuscany.
In this favorable context, the figurative arts developed enormously, giving rise to what became a real Sienese school in its own right. From the late thirteenth to the early sixteenth century, Siena (even though in 1559 it lost its autonomy and was absorbed into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany) benefited from the activity of painters, sculptors, and architects of the highest level, who shaped the current face of the city and of its surrounding territory.

The Sienese Museums house an impressive number of works by these artists, which still today astonish visitors with their quality and elegance. Siena’s Museo Civico, located in the city’s Gothic Town Hall, the Palazzo Pubblico, presents some of the most famous wall paintings by artists of the caliber of Duccio, Simone Martini, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Spinello Aretino, Taddeo di Bartolo, and Domenico Beccafumi. Beccafumi was the leading protagonist of Mannerism in Siena and worked, along with Sodoma and Pacchia, also in the Oratorio di San Bernardino, which today houses the Museo Diocesano d’Arte Sacra of Siena, with its wealth of priceless paintings, including the outstanding masterpiece by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, the Madonna del Latte, showing the Virgin Mary nursing the Christ Child.
Moving out from Siena and traveling south along the ancient route of the Via Francigena, we come to town after town that once were part of the State of Siena and today preserve their treasures in small but delightful museums. Outstanding examples are the Museo d’Arte Sacra della Val d’Arbia in Buonconvento (containing, among other fine works, three very touching images of The Virgin and Child by Duccio and Pietro Lorenzetti), the Museo d’Arte Sacra in Asciano (with an expressive Crucifix by Giovanni Pisano and refined fifteenth-century panel paintings by Pietro di Giovanni Ambrosi and the anonymous artist known as the Osservanza Master), the Museo Civico e Diocesano d’Arte Sacra in Montalcino (with reconstructed polyptychs by the fourteenth-century painter Bartolo di Fredi and late Gothic sculptures by Francesco di Valdambrino), and the Museo Diocesano in Pienza (with a luminous altarpiece by Vecchietta and an elaborate cope that once belonged to Pope Pius II).
Not far away, standing guard over the Chiana Valley, is Montepulciano, whose Museo Civico presents not only works of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but also a rich collection of sixteenth to nineteenth century paintings donated to the town in 1861 by the archpriest of the Collegiate Church, Francesco Crociani.
SienaNorth of Siena is the area of the Elsa Valley, which in the Middle Ages was a border territory, since a large part of it belonged to Florence. The most outstanding museum in this area is the Museo Civico of San Gimignano, located in the town’s Palazzo Pubblico, containing works by Memmo di Filippuccio, Lippo Memmi, Benozzo Gozzoli, and Pinturicchio. The Museo Civico e Diocesano d’Arte Sacra in Colle Val d’Elsa houses, among other works, an extremely rare Ostrogothic set of liturgical vessels for celebrating the Eucharist, dated in the sixth century A.D. (called the “treasure of Galognano”). The Museo Civico e della Collegiata in Casole d’Elsa features a masterpiece of Gothic sculpture (the “Porrina” tomb by Marco Romano) and paintings by the late Mannerist artist Alessandro Casolani.
The world of work, tradition, and science
A strong characteristic of Sienese civilization is a love of the land, which can be grasped at first glance in the quality and beauty of the landscape (which even has its own museum in the Museo del Paesaggio in Castelnuovo Berardenga). This landscape is very often the result of centuries of constant intervention by man and of a peasant culture recounted in the Museo della Mezzadria in Buonconvento, the Museo Etnografico e del Bosco in Orgia, and a special itinerary through the Museo della Grancia at Rapolano Terme (housed in an ancient fortified farm belonging to the historic hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena) which illustrates the cycle of olive oil production. The visitor can learn about holidays, festivals, and peasant performances in the exhibition space in Monticchiello dedicated to this subject and entitled tepotratos. Scenes from Traditional Tuscan Folk Theater.
Distinctive artisan and industrial activities characterize numerous places throughout the province of Siena, which are documented in several museums: the Parco minerario at Abbadia San Salvatore, located inside what were once some of the most important mercury mines in the world; the Museo del Cristallo in Colle Val d’Elsa, a town known the world over for its production of crystal; the Museo della Terracotta at Petroio, featuring work in clay and terracotta; and the Museo del Tartufo in San Giovanni d’Asso, dedicated to the rare and precious truffles found in the woods nearby.
A final group of museums is devoted to science, such as, in Siena, the Orto Botanico (an ancient botanical garden first planted in 1588) and the Museo di Storia Naturale Accademia dei Fisiocritici, a natural history museum that includes a room dedicated to the Enlightenment scientist Paolo Mascagni; in the countryside the Museo delle energie e del territorio di Radicondoli, illustrating various ways of producing energy; and in San Gimignano the Spezieria di Santa Fina, which reproduces a “preindustrial” pharmacy, and the Museo Ornitologico, devoted to birds.

Museums:
Museo Civico

Located in one of the most important Gothic public buildings, it houses masterpieces of Sienese art and history.
Santa Maria della Scala
Museum complex of the ancient Siena Hospital. Frescoes, art works and treasures accumulated over its millenary history.
Museo dell'Opera Metropolitana
It houses objects and works of art chiefly from the Duomo, including some famous Sienese and Tuscan school masterpieces of the 13th to the 15th century.
Pinacoteca Nazionale
The largest collection of Sienese painting, including its greatest masters, from the 12th to the mid 17th century.
Museo Civico e Torre del MangiaTorre del Mangia
87 metres high (102 including the lightning conductor) the Mangia Tower is in Piazza del Campo next to the Town Hall. Begun in 1325, as a symbol of the power wielded in the Town Hall, it was completed in 1348.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale
A rich heritage of exhibits and wide ranging documentation on the history of Sienese territory from prehistory to the Roman age.
Archivio di Stato
Collection of paintings on wood by the best known Sienese artists. Dating between 1258 and 1682, they are of great artistic and documentary value with regard to Sienese history and town-planning.
Santuario e casa di Santa Caterina
The Sanctuary includes parts of the saint’s house and other adjacent spaces, transformed into a sanctuary in 1464.
Orto Botanico
Splendid green area in the heart of the city containing numerous species of plants from all over the world.

Urban Trekking:


Siena: discover the surroundings

  • Travel Siena Travel Siena
    A way of travelling that priviledges direct contact with nature in order to capture emotions and discover the Terre di Siena furthest corners.
    Read more
  • Sovicille Sovicille (9 km)
    Sovicille is situated at about 10 km west of Siena in the direction of Massa Marittima and Follonica.
    Read more
  • Monteriggioni Monteriggioni (12 km)
    Monteriggioni is without doubt one of the most classical and best known Italian walled town.
    Read more
  • Monteroni d'Arbia Monteroni d'Arbia (13 km)
    Monteroni today still expresses the vitality of this land, thanks to considerable craft production and the traditional market.
    Read more
  • Castelnuovo Berardenga Castelnuovo Berardenga (14 km)
    The municipal territory of Castelnuovo Berardenga extends for 177,03 square kilometres between the plain and the hills of the high valley of the river Ombrone.
    Read more
  • Chianti Sculpture park Chianti Sculpture park (14 km)
    Inside the Chianti sculpture park an Amphitheatre/sculpture has been created to offer visitors a rich programme of concerts and cultural events.
    Read more
  • Castellina in Chianti Castellina in Chianti (17 km)
    The centre of Castellina in Chianti built up area is the ancient fortress designed in the second half of the fifteenth century by the great architect Giuliano da Sangallo.
    Read more
  • Murlo Murlo (18 km)
    The municipal territory of Murlo extends for 114,79 square kilometres between the valley of the river Merse and that of the Ombrone.
    Read more
  • Brolio Castle Brolio Castle (18 km)
    The Brolio castle has a Longobard origin, although today of the ancient original small fortress remain only the location.
    Read more
  • Meleto castle Meleto castle (18 km)
    Like in a fairytale, the Castle of Meleto stands out in the enchanting Chianti landscape at the end of a nice avenue lined with cypress-trees and junipers, in the middle of sun-kissed fields and vineyards.
    Read more
  • Gaiole Gaiole (18 km)
    Gaiole in Chianti has developed along the valley of the River Massellone due to its idea position as a trading and meeting point and its origins are based in these very geographical characteristics.
    Read more
  • Chianti museums Chianti museums (19 km)
    Chianti museums: Museo di Arte Sacra of Impruneta, Basilica di Santa Maria of Impruneta, Museo di Santa Maria sul Prato of San Casciano val di Pesa, Museo di San Cascinao
    Read more
  • Chiantishire Chiantishire (19 km)
    The Chianti territory with its hilly countryside of incomparable beauty lies in the heart of Tuscany.
    Read more
  • Radda in Chianti Radda in Chianti (19 km)
    Radda in Chianti is the vineyard village. From the high ground on which it was built in the middle ages, between the waters of the rivers Arbia and Pesa, you gaze over a very dense interweave of vineyards.
    Read more
  • Colle Val D'Elsa Colle Val D'Elsa (20 km)
    Colle di Val d'Elsa is located in the heart of Tuscany, in a strategic position, close to the cities of Siena, Florence and Volterra, along the route of the old Via Francigena
    Read more
  • Valdelsa Valdelsa (20 km)
    Val d'Elsa is located in the heart of Tuscany, in a strategic position near the cities of Siena, Florence and Volterra.
    Read more

Accommodations in the area


    • Greve in Chianti (Florence)
    • 28 km from Siena

    Villa Chianti 7 beds

    Villa Chianti is a private villa for rent in Chianti area with pool and garden that can accommodate up to 7 people.
    An oasis of peace and tranquility with views of the Chianti valleys not far from the main tourist attractions of Tuscany.

    Availability request


    • Bagno a Ripoli (Florence)
    • 43 km from Siena

    Villa Valdarno 12 beds

    Villa Valdarno is a typical Tuscan farmhouse located in a secluded and peaceful area in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, among vineyards and olive groves, and enjoys a privileged panoramic view of the Florentine Valdarno.
    The ideal solution for groups of friends or acquaintances who wish to spend their holidays in Tuscany with the comforts of a detached villa with swimming pool and large garden.

    Availability request


    • Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto)
    • 73 km from Siena

    Villa Roccamare Castiglione della Pescaia 12 beds

    Beautiful and characteristic villa with stone finishes located in the exclusive Roccamare area in Castiglione della Pescaia.
    Surrounded by the green of the pine forest and the total privacy with 2000 sqm park equipped with relaxation area and barbecue is located about 400 meters from the sea and has a private beach.

    Availability request


    • Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto)
    • 74 km from Siena

    Villa Punta Ala 9 beds pool

    Beautiful villa with swimming pool surrounded by greenery and tranquility of the exclusive tourist destination Punta Ala and small attic used as service personnel only 300 meters from the sea of Tuscany.
    This ideal solution for those who want to spend their holidays near the beautiful sea of Punta Ala with the comforts of an exclusive villa.

    Availability request


    • Lucca (Lucca)
    • 90 km from Siena

    Historic Villa Lucca 12 beds pool

    Historic villa 14 km from the center of Lucca immersed in the green of the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves, it has a private swimming pool and a large park.
    Set on 350 square meters in a dominant position offers a unique view of the hills of Tuscany.

    Availability request


    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 100 km from Siena

    Stone Farmhouse Massarosa 8 beds pool

    Stone farmhouse in typical Tuscan style skilfully and elegantly renovated in a dominant position on the hills of Massarosa with spectacular views that reach the sea of Tuscany. The farmhouse has a swimming pool with whirlpool.
    Perfect solution for those that search the real authentic Tuscany staying in the hills but not far from the Versilia sea.

    Availability request


    • Viareggio (Lucca)
    • 101 km from Siena

    Villa Torre del Lago 5 beds

    Typical Tuscan farmhouse for rent in Torre del Lago, Massaciuccoli area with 3 bedrooms and 5 beds, just 1 km from the Tuscany coast.
    Ideal solution for small groups or families looking for a villa for rent not far from the sea in a context of absolute privacy.

    Availability request


    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 103 km from Siena

    Farmhouse Massarosa 14 beds pool

    Beautiful ancient Tuscan farmhouse completely renovated located on Tuscan hills 10 km from the golf course of Versilia. The villa can accommodate up to 14 people.
    An oasis of peace for those looking for a stay in the Tuscan hills while staying close to the sea. Perfect for a relaxing holiday in close contact with nature.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 105 km from Siena

    Charming villa Tuscany coast 14 beds pool

    Eighteenth-century villa located in a picturesque area of the Tuscan hills at the foot of the Apuan Alps, the villa has a park with swimming pool and tennis court.
    The spacious suites of the villa embellished with charming details and enhanced by modern comforts will make your stay an unforgettable experience.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 105 km from Siena

    Villa Pieve di Camaiore 8 beds pool

    Luxury and charming villa with swimming pool for rent surrounded by the green hills of Camaiore not far from the sea of the Tuscan coast.
    The villa is ideal for those looking for an oasis of absolute peace and relaxation guaranteed by the elevated position and the external fence in style.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 105 km from Siena

    Villa Prato di Sopra Camaiore 10 beds pool

    This villa is really some thing special, perched on the top of a hill the views are endlessly breath taking.
    This villa is really some thing special, perched on the top of a hill the views are endlessly breath taking.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 105 km from Siena

    Restored Farmhouse Camaiore 9 beds pool

    Beautiful fully restored farmhouse located on the hills of Camaiore. The villa is surrounded by a park of 2500 square meters in which is inserted the beautiful pool.
    Thanks to the dominant position on the valley from the farmhouse you can enjoy a beautiful 360 ° panoramic view.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 105 km from Siena

    Villa Camaiore Hills 10 beds pool

    Villa located 3 km from the center of Camaiore in a quiet and sunny position 10 km from Tuscan sea.
    Ideal for those looking for a villa accommodation on the hills of Versilia a few miles from Tuscan sea.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 106 km from Siena

    Villa Camaiore Hills 7 beds pool

    Wonderful villa with swimming pool surrounded by greenery, tranquility and privacy of the Pieve di Camaiore about 10 km from the sea of the Tuscan coast.
    The villa has all the comforts necessary to ensure an unforgettable stay in Tuscany and is the ideal solution for small groups up to 7 people who want to stay in the countryside but not far from the sea of Versilia.

    Availability request


    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 107 km from Siena

    Villa Massarosa 10 beds pool

    Beautiful and spacious villa in the countryside located in the hills of Versilia, 3 km from the golden beaches of the Tuscan coast with private pool and park.
    Perfect solution to stay in the green hills of Tuscany, 3 km from the golden beaches of Versilia

    Availability request