"The true star of Tuscany" Top 5 Page for this destination Siena by Tijavi

Siena Travel Guide: 899 reviews and 2,730 photos

The rivalry between Tuscany's two major cities - Florence and Siena - is anything but legendary. Rivals since the Middle Ages, Florence was identified with the pro-pope Guelphs while Siena sided with the pro-imperialist Ghibellines. Florence's renaissance artistic treasures compete head on with Siena's spiky gothic masterpieces. Even in this age of Serie A, a match between Fiorentina and AC Siena draws more passionate fervor from the respective fans.

The rivalry is so intense that tourists are inevitably confronted with the age-old dilemma: who is most worthy of the Tuscan crown - Renaissance Queen Florence or Gothic Empress Siena?

My vote goes to Siena. And this has little to do with its magnificent gothic masterpieces, or even the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Duomo.

Siena's charm comes from its laidback-yet-culturally-sophisticated vibe that offers visitors lots of things to see and do - without the stress that comes from long queues at entrances to Florence's museums and the top dollar tickets that go with them (not to mention waking up at ungodly hours to beat the rush). Siena's narrow, wandering alleys are a great place to be lost in with treats waiting for the adventurous tourist in every corner, be it a handsome palazzo, a quaint osteria offering mouthwatering Tuscan specialties, or sublime views of the city and the surrounding Tuscan landscape. Not surprisingly, the more laidback ambiance engenders a more courteous, more welcoming local population (than more tourism-oriented Florence).

The best way to enjoy Siena would be to spend a few days here, and take things slow and easy, nibbling on every morsel of culture, cuisine and architecture that Siena dishes out to those with the patience to discover its many delights - and the stamina to explore its hilly terrain.

  • Intro Updated May 15, 2011
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Reviews (30)

Comments (16)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jul 8, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    Excellent page! The Churches I would love to see, just stunning!

  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    TV- Your pages and Crois's on Siena are super. Your photos alone are spectacular and helped make me decide to add Sienna to an itinerary for a long trip next April. Great job!

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    I have to re visit Siena.


  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2011 at 6:51 AM

    very nice tips!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    I had to come back because.... guess who is there in less than 2 weeks for 2 weeks in total? Thanks for all the restaurant suggestions (and the warnings) :-))

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    I agree with you that Siena may be more favorable than Florence because pf its campo but also all the nice buildings in the square and around the town. You did a nice job of descirbing the sites and the pictres are very good.

  • Jul 11, 2010 at 3:14 AM

    Do you mean La Tellina? If you do, perhaps you should have skipped the seafood -the Cinghiale Cacciatore is to die for!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    I have long wanted to visit Sienna, and this excellent page makes me determine to make it sooner rather than later. Great photos too - I really liked the marble Duomo floors for instance. And mouth-watering restaurant tips :-)

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Outstanding insights. I have not seen the differences between Florence and Siena articulated in a better manner. Grazie for a great tour. Good foundation for my visit to both cities.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2009 at 4:23 AM

    What a great page to entice first-time visitors but even better for Siena fans who have returned because they loved it as you do. Sure brought back memories and, I must admit, showed me spots I had missed. Excellent food tips, too.


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