What I do remember is having one of the best meals in Italy there - boar meat pasta. Boar meat is specialty in this region and most stores sell all kinds of processed and fresh boar meat products. Some of the stores are attractively decorated with real boar heads and photographing is usually forbidden.
Gothic Delights: The Abbey of Saint Galgano
The Abbey of San Galgano has been described as the greatest Gothic building in Italy, and you will understand why as dusk begins to fall: The grass that has replaced the flagstones of the nave darkens, the colors of the setting sun shine through the gaping windows, and the stars appear in the heavenly vault that has replaced the church's ceiling. It's hard to imagine anything more haunting, or dramatic.
The Abbey, built in the 12th and 13th centuries, was one of the Cistercians' two largest Italian foundations. Built to the Glory of God, it was sacked by the English condottiere Sir John Hawkwood and his mercenaries, and by 1397 the abbot was its only inhabitant. During the 15th century, the papacy assigned its income to a dissolute cardinal. The monks left and the building deteriorated. The bell tower is said to have collapsed during a Mass attended by locals.
In the early evening light, there is a timeless stillness and quiet about the place.
Though the church proper is still open to the elements, the cloisters and smaller buildings are being restored by a community of Benedictine Olivetan nuns, who also have a carefully tended vegetable path behind the structure, overlooked by a small statue of the Madonna.
Be A Star
Hard to find, but worth the hunt. A brief walk from the Piazza del Campo. Superb food, charming waiters. Bilingual menus. Great ambiance. The walls are lined with photographs of famous singers and actors who have dined there-- a fascinating assortment, from Mel Gibson to Luciano Pavarotti to Tyrone Power, and a spectacular unidentified blonde who looked like Veronica Lake. Pasta with grated fresh white truffles-- WOW.
most extravagant duomo i've ever seen
Of course you must see the duomo when you're in any Italian town, but Siena's duomo is an absolute must see. The floors are only exposed for a year every sever years or so because they want to protect it. Every facet of this building is ornamented.
Heading uphill from the Campo, you arrive outside the monumental green-and-white-striped Duomo, Siena's cathedral. Before the collapse of the city's fortunes, Siena had ambitious plans to enlarge the edifice into the largest in the world. You can still see the facade and one side of the new cathedral, which would have incorporated the older building as a mere transept. Work was stopped, but the grandiose ambitions of the Sienese were preserved in the freestanding striped walls. The interior of the cathedral itself is ornate and decorated, lined with the heads of saints. The floor is composed of extremely fine inlaid marble scenes - some are covered to preserve them from wear, but others are usually exposed in roped-off sections. The Duomo is free to visit; although there is a small charge to visit the Piccolomini Library, (off to the left of the nave), where charming courtly scenes by Pinturicchio recount the life story of Sienese Pope Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Pius II). Adjacent to the Duomo, the Museo dell'Opera Metropolitana contains much of the original artwork from the cathedral, Sienese paintings, and the opportunity to view Siena from a vantage point on the unfinished new cathedral facade.