On Sunday 26th February, I went to a day trip to Siena with a few friends. There is only one bus per day from Perugia to Siena at 11.20am and one back at 18.25.
The coach station is the last stop on the MiniMetro so it’s easy to get to!
The coach to Siena took us just under an hour and a half and dropped us at Siena train station, from there we took the escalators and then a 10/15-minute walk to the centre. We stopped at a little pizza place along Viale Vittorio Emanuele II and headed through the Porta into the city centre. There are so many signs with the little dot indicating the town centre so it’s pretty difficult to get lost!
We headed in the direction of the Duomo and stopped just before Piazza del Campo at GROM a little yoghurt / gelato place that is a chain but does amazing flavours!
Once arriving in Piazza del Campo, our aim was to walk up the Torre del Mangia but it was closed for refurbishment so instead we headed to the Duomo di Siena. I hadn’t researched Siena before we got there and the cathedral was incredible, the building is made in black and white marble strips which (I’m assuming) wasn’t normal for when it was built in the 13th century! The front of the cathedral is also amazing and really intricate.
We bought the 8€ tickets which gave us access to the museum (Museo Dell’Opera), cathedral (Duomo di Siena) and the panorama (Panorama from “facciatone”). We started with the museum which was an awful lot of statues, art and metal objects however it does have Buoninsegna’s stained glass window which is absolutely beautiful! There was also a piece of Donatello’s work which I vaguely remember studying in first year but in the room with all of the jewellery there was a box with human bones in it. Kinda creepy but an inventive way to be the rest of existence!
On the top floor of the museum there is the panorama, called the Panorama from “facciatone”. They only let a small number of people up at a time so it can be a lengthy wait but the views are worth it! Once it’s your turn after waiting you have to climb up 2 sets of very narrow spiral staircases up to a thin viewpoint at the top. The views at the top are of the city and also of the main Duomo itself so it’s well worth a visit!
The final part of our 8€ ticket was visiting the inside of the Duomo, the same black and white stripes are inside which is very different to any other cathedral I’ve ever visited. The ceiling, as with all big places in Italy, was amazing too!
The floor inside the museum is covered in marble artwork and it has been described as the “most beautiful, largest and most magnificent floor ever made” by Giorgio Vasari.
Once we had finished our visit of the Duomo and museum we went back to Piazza del Campo. Not only were we lucky enough to have beautiful and warm weather, it was also Carnival and there was a marathon ending in the Piazza so there was so many people sitting in the sun and enjoying the atmosphere. After spending some time in the Piazza we saw people sitting on benches on the outside of a building in the Piazza, we only had an hour left in Siena before the coach back and we decided to have a drink in the sun with a view!
The entrance to the bar is on Via Rinaldini and you can sit upstairs and outside. It was fairly busy when we went so I don’t think anyone would have any chance in summer! The bar is called Bar Key Largo.
We wondered around the street for a little bit attempting to reach another church but we ended up going in the wrong direction and we never made it to the church before we had to head back to the bus.
I’d really recommend a day trip to Siena, we only had 6 hours there and it was enough to see the main things but if you wanted to see everything I do think a whole day would be enough!
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