Top 10 Places in Siena, Italy
I am loving my time in Siena and it is crazy to think that more than half of my time here is already gone! Although I love exploring Italy and Europe on the weekends, Siena has enough within it’s city walls that I think I see something new every day. It was hard to narrow down but I think I have picked my 10 favorite places within Siena that I have found so far. There are still so many places that I want to try, but I don’t know if I’ll have enough time!
Shanghai Chinese Restaurant. Yes, although I love Italian food, it is nice to have a change from the pasta every so often. My friends and I have found the Chinese restaurant close to school to be really good and cheap! A great combination!
Santa Maria Della Scala. Preparing for medical school, it has been exciting for me to experience all of the medical history within Italy. The best surprise was discovering that I live right across the piazza from the first hospital of the western world, the Santa Maria Della Scala. The building is now a museum that is filled with frescos from when it was still a hospital, as well as many pre-Roman artifacts!
Mondit. On the weekends, it’s fun to have a drink with friends and locals and we have found a cool English pub across the street from an elephant playground. This pub has a great atmosphere and is always buzzing with people. The beer isn’t too shabby either!
Morbidi. One of the fun adventures of Siena is finding a place to study with wifi, but my friends and I have found this great “secret” cafe with great wifi and a cozy atmosphere. From the outside it looks like it is only a deli, but if you go inside and to the back, there are big tables and they serve coffee, pastries and our favorite cheese plates!
Piazza il Campo. Nothing beats a sunny afternoon of tanning and people watching on the Campo! There are always people hanging out and enjoying the day here. Not to mention the adorable kids that are allowed to run free and chase the pigeons!
Gelato Place on the Campo. Not only is it great to sit in the Campo but there is a great gelato place on the perimeter that serves up some of the richest gelato in town and has one of the best views!
My House. I think I won the jackpot on my host family and the apartment I live in. Not only is it adorable with the decorations, but I live inside the Duomo and have a view overlooking the city skyline. There is nothing better than having a cup of coffee on our balcony on a sunny morning!
Duomo Wall. One of the best deals in Siena is buying the pass for all of the different parts of the Duomo and going up the unfinished wall to have a fabulous view of the city. The walk is a little unnerving up a small spiral staircase but it is worth it once you are at the top. Plus it is incredible to think how old and how long ago the structure was built, like everything in Siena.
Enoteca Italiana. For fun, SIS offers a wine class that meets 6 times throughout the semester and allows you to learn about wine and taste various types of Italian wine. Our class meets within the Siena Enoteca which is located in the old Fiorentine fort. In the basement where ammunition used to be kept, there is a display of every type of wine produced in Italy. It is a gorgeous sight to see!
Fortezza Medicea. One top of the Fort is one on the nicest places in Siena. The fort was built in the Middle Ages by the Fiorentines (aka. Florence) after they had taken over Siena. It was a strategic move so the Fiorentines would have a fort to defend themselves the next time Siena took them over. It is a great piece of history and a perfect park to enjoy the sunshine!
If these places don’t convince you of the beauty and diversity of Siena or if you want to see more, give this video a watch to see how “Happy” a place Siena really is!
Julie is a student at University of Minnesota, Rochester studying at Siena Italian Studies during the Spring 2014 term.