Tag Archives: Siena

Montepulciano in Tuscany

Location of Montepulciano

One of the most beautiful hilltowns in Tuscany, MontepulcianoMontepulciano, known as one of the most attractive hilltowns in Tuscany, is located in the Val di Chiana and within easy reach of the Val d’Orcia.

Montepulciano is built on a limestone ridge of Monte Poliziano in the province of Siena in southern Tuscany with an elevation of 605 m.
The nearest bigger town is Pienza, located at about 13 km distance, Siena is 70 km away and Florence even 134 km.
Continue reading Montepulciano in Tuscany

Hotel Agriturismo Borgo Scopeto Relais near Siena

Borgo Scopeto Relais Siena – 4-star hotel

Borgo Scopeto Relais  4-star hotel in Siena TuscanyThe Borgo Scopeto Relais is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards with a spectacular view over Siena and is located in Castelnuovo Berardenga. This elegant hotel, close to the ancient walls, is the ideal getaway.

This charming hotel is housed in a recently restored 13th century hamlet. Its guest rooms maintain the ancient charm of the building and combine this with all modern conveniences.

It is located in the heart of the Chianti area and from here you can visit some typical vineyards for wine tastings, go horse riding, or visit Siena and the smaller, picturesque Chianti villages.

The hotel features a restaurant specialising in high quality typical Tuscan food. You can admire the marvellous view over the city of Siena as you dine on the restaurant terrace. During the day, enjoy the hotel’s 2 outdoor swimming pools and the surrounding greenery.

Great rooms at Borgo Scopeto RelaisHotel Rooms: 58.

Customer review score of 9.6 for this hotel.

Prices for a deluxe double room for around €250 per night.

Book a room at Borgo Scopeto Relais in Siena Tuscany

Siena in Tuscany

Siena, home of Il Palio, the famous horse race

History, art and culture

Duomo di Siena. Siena Duomo TuscanySiena was founded by the Etruscans and was a Roman colony at the time of the Emperor Augustus. In Mediaeval times with the Lombards and the Franks, the city began to exercise a certain degree of power.

Proud and wealthy during the Middle Ages it was an independant state and quite often at war with it’s neighbour Florence. The period when Siena was at her zenith was between the 12th and 16th centuries.

The “Council of Nine” ruled from 1287 to 1355. This was one of the most peaceful periods in the city’s history and also saw a healthy economic and cultural revival. Thanks to this newfound wealth and tranquillity, many new buildings like the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Churches of St Francis and St Domenic were built along with the Palazzo Pubblico. Some of the works of this period were by such illustrious artists as Simone Martini, the Lorenzettis, Duccio and many others.

Recommended Hotels in Siena

Hotel Price Range User Score
**** Hotel Athena € 99 p.n.p.r. 7,9
*** Locando di San Martino € 129 p.n.p.r. 8,2
***** Grand Hotel Continental € 319 p.n.p.r. 8,8
See all 58 Hotels in Siena

Il Palio

Siena Il Palio
Siena Il Palio

Sienese people today are still fiercely proud of their city and their neighborhood (contrada). The Palio, the famous horse race, is all about neighborhood pride and rivalry. It also constitutes the unbroken continuation of a Medieval tradition associated with religion, pageantry, trash-talking, bragging, and occasional violence.

The Sienese  take it very seriously and it is in no way just Flags of neighbourhoods in Siena Tuscany Paliofor tourists. In fact, you are likely to be less welcomed during the Palio than at any other time, and there isn’t the slightest doubt that Siena would run the Palio with great enthusiasm regardless of whether any visitors ever showed up. The chance of no tourists or other visitors turning up is not likely to happen. It’s is probably one of the bussiest periods of the year. The whole main square is packed with people.

July 2 and August 16 are the dates when the Palio di Siena is held.

Art in Siena

Madonna and Child by Duccio, 1284 at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, SienaOver the centuries, Siena has had a rich tradition of arts and artists. The list of artists from the Sienese School include Duccio, and his student Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti and Martino di Bartolomeo. A number of well known works of Renaissance and High Renaissance art still remain in Siena galleries or decorate churches in Siena.

The Church of San Domenico in Siena contains art by Guido da Siena, dating to mid 13th century.

Duccio’s Maesta which was commissioned by the City of Siena in 1308 was instrumental in leading Italian painting away from the hieratic representations of Byzantine art and directing it towards more direct presentations of reality.

Madonna and Child with saints polyptych by Duccio, Siena, 1311-1318And his Madonna and Child with saints polyptych, painted between 1311 and 1318 remains at the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena.

The Pinacoteca also includes several works by Domenico Beccafumi, as well as art by Lorenzo Lotto, Domenico di Bartolo and Fra Bartolomeo.

Getting There

By plane

Siena’s Ampugnano airport is located 9 km from the city. At the moment, connections from Olbia, Vienna and Munich are available. For additional information tel 0577-392226. A shuttle service connection is currently available between the airport and Piazza Gramsci TRA-IN (tel. 0577-204224).

Most travellers arriving by plane will land at airports in Florence or Pisa.

By car

From the north, take the Chiantigiana from Florence (SS 222 – 72 km) that elegantly crosses the hills of Chianti or the highway (SS 2 superstrada Siena/Firenze – 68 km). From the south, Siena can be reached by taking the Autoway from Rome (A1 Roma-Firenze, exit Valdichiana), turning right on state highway #326 (Bettolle-Siena – 240 km). Free parking can be found near Fortezza Medicea, northwest of the city stadium – and around it.

By train

From the north, some trains go directly from Florence to Siena, and otherwise it is possible to take any train that stops in Empoli and find train connections from Empoli to Siena every 30-60 minutes. From the south, direct connections to Siena depart from Chiusi or from Grosseto. The train station in Siena is located approximately 2 km from Siena’s historical centre, a five minute bus ride – buses leave regularly from Piazza del Sale. Buses numbers 3, 8, 10, 17, 77 leave from the station to Piazza del Sale and bus #17 departs from Piazza del Sale for the train station. If you don’t mind walking uphill, you can also walk to the centre in about 20-30 minutes: Exit the train station, turn left, walk past the bus park and then uphill, bearing right at the traffic circle, staying on the road called Viale Giuseppe Manzini. When this road sharply bends to the right, follow the curve around where the road becomes Via Garibaldi, which will take you into the city.

Best Holiday Stays in Tuscany

Don’t settle for just any hotel. Enjoy the full experience of a real Tuscan villa

Best holiday stays in TuscanyWhen looking for a nice place to stay in Tuscany I stumbled across this site with the most amazing accommodations. It’s called La Vera Toscana, the real Tuscany, and looking at the pictures of the villas and agriturismos I must agree with the name. I will personally check out one of them this summer: Casa Sola

Most agriturismos or locations have the option to follow a wine course or to learn some italian cooking as well.

Check out the high class villas and historic residences in Tuscany.

Excellent choices for your visit of all the beauty that Tuscany has to offer like Florence and Siena.

 

Update:

Casa Sola was brilliant. Nice quiet house in the middle of the Chianti vineyards. Some great Chianti from the estate for a fair price. Lovely hill towns near the estate. The real Tuscan life. Florence, Siena and the Chianti wine route are just around the corner.