Grand Hotel Continental

5 out of 5 stars5 Stars

Via Banchi Di Sopra 85, Siena, Tuscany, 53100, Italy
Grand Hotel Continental Siena
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 5 star hotels

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  • Families83
  • Couples84
  • Solo60
  • Business85

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Forum Posts

Quaint Siena hotels...

by clark365

A trip to Italy at the end of November with another couple has us attempting to cover a lot of ground in very little time. After reading a very interesting article about Siena in the September issue of National Geographic Traveler, we have decided to take a detour to visit Siena for two days, while our friends tackle Florence.

I have narrowed down the hotel choices to three: Piccolo Hotel Etruria, Antica Torre and Hotel Cannon d'Oro. Looking for something charming and romantic, as this will be our only escape from the city and only opportunity to experience the other, more peaceful, side of Italy.

All suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Re: Quaint Siena hotels...

by gavinc

Hotels opposed to appartments can be very expensive in Siena (around 200e).

I'd suggest you do some research at:
There are sections for both hotel and appartment/villa accomodation.

Re: Quaint Siena hotels...

by This_Kiss

You're right! Definitely go to Siena. I'm not familiar with the hotels you mentioned but check out Hotel Borgo Grondaie or The Villa Piccola Siena. Borgo Grondaie has lovely rooms and Villa Piccola Siena also has a farmhouse in their vineyard if you want to rent a romantic one bedroom unit there instead of staying at the hotel. All this depending on your budget but worth checking out.
Enjoy your trip and bring back lots of pics :-)

Re: Quaint Siena hotels...

by donato1899

We stayed a week at the pensione palazzo ravizza, I loved it. Siena is a wonderful city. You can walk everywhere , you get so lost and pretty soon you are back at the duome or campo and you find your way home.
We really love Siena.
I would pick a hotel inside the city wall or at least just outside so you can walk.
A good place to find reviews of your hotel choices is

Cinque Terre and Siena hotels

by JuliaSh

Hi everyone, thank you so much for you help before and hoping you could help me again. I need hotel recommendations in Cinque Terre and Siena. We are going in August ( I know it's not the best time to go...) Do we need a hotel with a/c or it's ok with just fan? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!
Thank you!

Re: Cinque Terre and Siena hotels

by donato1899

It will be very hot in Siena in August. We stay at the Palazzo Ravizza which is a great old non air conditioned hotel. Most of the hotels in Siena do not have a/c.
There is a very expensive one by the soccer stadium called , I think, The Hotel Intercontinental.You can look at the weather in siena on Yahoo to see it is in the 90's F now. Look at for hotel listings and e-mail to see if they have a/c. I don't think many do.
It may be the best time to go if you are there for the Palio on Aug 16..

Re: Cinque Terre and Siena hotels

by donato1899

Re: Cinque Terre and Siena hotels

by donato1899

Hotel Santa Caterina says they have a/c and are just outside the porto romano which is the most impressive of the gatesin the wall around the walled city of Siena. You can walk from the Porto Romano to theCampo in 10-15 minutes.

Re: Re: Cinque Terre and Siena hotels

by snorkelman

Sienna’s 1-4 star hotels are listed at

Consider (a 2 star) Hotel Piccola Etruria tel +39-0577-288088 cost 70 Euro for a double without bath (in the heart of Siena (about a block from the Piazza del Campo), and clean). Breakfast is 5 Euro extra. There's another small one star hotel next door (Tre Donzelle) tel +39-0577-280358 which costs 44 Euro for a double.
Also consider the B&B called Palazzo Bruchi, it is located at Via Pantaneto #105. It is close to the town center (only 200 meters from the famous "Piazza del Campo"), Check their website: Email Tel and fax +39-0577-2873-42.
Also consider Soggiorno Sabrina (located near the main square).

I don't remember the a/c situation for the above places.

Re: Re: Cinque Terre and Siena hotels

by JuliaSh

Thank you so much everyone!!!

Siena hotels: Palazzo Bruchi or Cannon d'Oro.

by JuliaSh

Hello everyone, I am trying to find a decent hotel for one night in Siena. I am deciding between Palazzo Bruchi and Cannon d'Oro. Both of them in the centre. Anybody had any experince with any of these hotels?
Thanks a lot,

Re: Siena hotels: Palazzo Bruchi or Cannon d'Oro.

by call_me_rhia

ok julia - u r doing it on purpose... going to the hotels i have been
cannon d'oro is really nice - and a stone throw from piazza del campo. again i was happy with it... what made me decide for it vs other hotels is that they give u the front door key - while other hotels stressed that they would close at midnight - and one had to be in by then.

ok next destination and hotel please?? ;-)

TO: call me rhia

by JuliaSh

:) hmmm let me think... i am also staying at hotel Italia in Rome and hotel Harvey in Nice? did i get it right this time as well? ;)
When were you in Siena? if in summer, was it really hot in the hotel without a/c? both hotel have fans...hoping that' ll do it.
Thank you so much for your replies... they help a LOT!

Re: TO: call me rhia

by call_me_rhia

nahh i can only recommend a hotel italia in trieste

anyway - siena - i was there some years ago in january - so i really can't comment on the a/c

have a great italian trip


Travel Tips for Siena

The Contrade, Siena’s lifelines

by Trekki

Like for many Italian towns, the quarters are more important for the locals than the town as a whole. They are the place where the people have their roots and family ties, their friends, their neighbours, it is their haven. Siena has 17 of these quarters. Today, the contrade are the smallest unit in Siena, but the town is officially divided into three terzi: Terzo di Città, Terzo di San Martino and Terzo di Camollia. But back to the contrade: originally they were the neighbourhoods where specific craftsmen settled and did their trade. Each contrada has a patron saint, a community house with kitchen and all that to celebrate events within the community, an own fountain and a church. Of course the most important event for each contrada is the Palio, well, one of the two which are being held (July 2 and August 16). Already weeks before the Palio, the contrade start preparing the event and the days before the race, flags are hung out, tables and chairs are put on the streets and everyone is busy. It is also easy to see in which contrade one is when walking through Siena, because many houses have their symbol on the wall or at the letterboxes or little animals in the windows. I had a lot of fun trying to find out where I was. Bookstores in Siena will sell specific town maps where each contrada is marked.

A good overview about the 17 contrade is given on Wikipedia: Contrade of Siena. And details with link to each contrada with detailed information about seat, church, saint and fountain in another part of Wikipedia.

In case you want to have some impressions about the days of Palio, I found two nice videos on youtube which seem to capture the activities well:
video with emphasis on the horses (4 minutes),
video about the days before Palio (3 minutes).

And last but not least, a very atmospheric documentation I have on DVD is obviously also on youtube, in six parts (Italian with Dutch subtitles), each approx. 8-9 minutes. It shows days in the life of people of Contrada Civetta:
Palio, part 1
Palio, part 2
Palio, part 3
Palio, part 4
Palio, part 5
Palio, part 6

© Ingrid D., December 2010.

The Campanile - ONLY 900 persons a day

by globetrott

Only 900 persons a day are allowed to climb up the narrow stairs to the top of the Campanile.

Buy your ticket inside the court on the back in the counter and REGISTER for a certain time to climb up the tower.

Great place just outside the walls

by Herkbert about Trattoria Fori Porta

Trattoria Fori Porta is a charming little restaurant, located just outside of the walls of Siena, and just up the street from our hotel. We had early reservations, so there was only one other table occupied when we arrived. However, it wasn't long before it started to fill up with locals (or tourists who spoke perfect Italian).

The decor is simple, yet charming. In the main foyer area, they have their wines displayed along with, what we later learned, was an antipasti buffet. The dining rooms were pleasantly decorated and comfortable. The waiter was very nice, helping us along with our destruction of the Italian language while ordering.

The food was all delicious. All the ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and they had some different choices on the menu. I had the roasted rabbit (coniglio) and my wife had the wild boar (cinghiale). Both were prepared perfectly. I started with bruschetta, while Sue had a Souffle of eggplant, which was delicious.

If you find yourself looking for a reasonably priced restaurant, with good food and local appeal, try Trattoria Fori Porta. The winner on this evening was the soufflè della melanzana or eggplant soufle. The flavors were incredible - a great mix of the eggplant flavors and the other spices.

Hospital history: Santa Maria della Scala

by Trekki

Besides the exhibits and frescoes inside Palazzo Pubblico, the old hospital was my most favourite museum in Siena. Like Palazzo Pubblico it is more of a “suggestive” museum than one crammed with exhibits. Many of the old and newer frescoes have been restored and more work is in progress. Although today only a portion of it is open to the public, the whole complex is huge. I didn’t realise this before I looked up the website and saw the aerial intro photo and drawing. And only during my visit I actually learned that it was one of the first hospitals in Europe, founded approximately 9th century and in operation until end of last century. Some old signs still demonstrate this, like a marble sign “Clinica Oculista” (eye clinic). When it was founded it was a place for pilgrims (the duomo is just across the street), for the poor and for abandoned children. Pilgrims, because Siena is along the route of Via Francigena. And taking care of abandoned children and poor people because this was what hospitals once had been, when the rich had their private doctors anyhow. A lot of signs of these past time tasks are visible today, especially in the Sala del Pellegrinaio (hall of the pilgrims). This huge hall has frescoes which show the history of this hospital, from the early dream to the daily work, such as healing ill people, giving out food and taking care of abandoned children. Old photographs make visible how this room was used as a hospital room with approx. 50 beds. I also liked the Sagrestia Vecchia (old sacristy) of with religious frescoes of 1444. I think it was because a lot of the paintings are gone, many only half restored. This gives room to imagination and lets one appreciate the artists of the past. Yes, maybe this is indeed what I feel in rooms like that: art is not restored to the fullest but like footprints of the artists. But the most striking part of the old hospital for me was the Oratorio di Santa Caterina della Notte one floor below, a small complex with chapel and additional small rooms. These rooms have a very special atmosphere. Already in the small aisle just in front of the chapel is a skull and gave me the impression of an old pathology. Inside, the chapel seems to have been restored in a way that you would believe the monks are just out for a lunch break and will be back soon. Rosaries and wooden belts hang on the wall, a candelabra stands somewhere with almost burnt down candles, prayer books lie on the benches.

I found the old hospital fascinating. Especially since while walking through it I realised that ignorant me didn’t gave a thought about what hospitals originally meant and how they have developed from the past idea and what our forefathers already knew about medicine and healing, long before they evolved as gods in white. Take time to walk through the rooms. And look. Many things of the old hospital are still there, like the already mentioned sign of the eye clinic or like old door handles with the symbol of this hospital (photo 2, the symbol, not the door handle). Oh, and I should say that the huge window of the former entrance hall give a good opportunity to take reflection photos of the duomo (see photo 4).

Not being a native English speaker, I only realised now (writing about the old hospital and the impressions it left on me), that the English term "hospitality" seems to derive from the old idea of a hospital offering a place to stay and food for the ones who come for a visit. These days pilgrims, today guests.

Thank you, dear Francesca (one of my teachers) to inspire me to visit this old hospital! I am so glad I did.

Opening hours:
October 16 – March 16: daily, 10:30 – 16:30,
March 17 – October 15: daily, 10:30 – 18:30.

Admission fee:
6 Euro (as of November 2010). Free entrance for children under 11, for inhabitants of Siena and for disabled people.

Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala on Google Maps.

© Ingrid D., December 2010 (just in case, RickS or others come along and think they can steal texts).

Duomo: beautiful facade

by m-joy

The beautiful façade was finished in 1376. It is an architectural masterpiece, made of ornaments, statues like the lions, mosaics and sculptures. The excellent glass mosaic was added in the 19th century.


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 Grand Hotel Continental

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Grand Hotel Continental Siena

Address: Via Banchi Di Sopra 85, Siena, Tuscany, 53100, Italy