Unique Places in Siena

  • Holy light over Crete Senesi (Nov 2010)
    Holy light over Crete Senesi (Nov 2010)
    by Trekki
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by angiebabe
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by angiebabe

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Siena

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    Siena in Springtime

    by angiebabe Written Feb 2, 2014

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    I went to Florence for a medieval parade event and then drove around Tuscany for a week or so. It meant that i was in Tuscany in March which is springtime - and Siena had evidence of this with a few blossoms around - which I love

    Get great great views from off the top of the Duomo and enjoy the landscapes - with spring blossoms showing as well

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    Enchanting erosion in Crete Senesi

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    Ever since I saw a photo of this landscape in Google Earth, I wanted to see it with my own eyes. On my way back from Gubbio I realised that it is close from the highway and so I turned off at Asciano and tried to find it. Since my trip to Gubbio and thus renting a car and being flexible on the weekend wasn’t planned, I didn’t have the exact location with me, so all I could do was guessing where it might be. Luckily I remembered that it was close to Abbazia Monte Oliveto and this was marked in the map I had bought in Siena. On my way to the monastery I passed marvellous sights and despite the grey weather I could imagine how beautiful this would look in sunshine or in summer. And when I finally turned around the corner just after the tiny hilltop village of Chiusure – it was there, exactly as I had remembered it from the photo. Sunshine was missing but with the exploding autumn colours of the trees it was indeed a magic sight. The white “formations” are a result of erosion in this clay landscape, and the Italian word for it is biancane (bianco = white).

    Directions:
    Drive direction Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Whichever way you choose, the best viewpoint is between the road up to the monastery and the junction to Chiusure on road SS451/SP451. There is a lay-by big enough for several busses.
    In case you come by bus to the monastery: it is at the bottom of the road to the monastery, only a couple of metres to walk downhill.

    Abbazia Monte Oliveto Maggiore on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., November 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Crete Senesi - out of this world :-)

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    On my way back to Siena from Abbazia Monte Oliveto Maggiore (see next tip) I took road SP/SS438 east from Asciano to Arbia to get to SS73/E78, the two-lane highway which connects Siena with Perugia. In parts this road is on a higher elevation than its surroundings and makes driving something like floating over it. The landscape is being said to be moonlike, which I find a bit too philosophical, but nevertheless it is both strange and beautiful. As if time stands still and only clouds fly over it. The soft rolling hills are either farmland or pasture land, but coherent and not torn apart from each other. This and their rather huge dimensions lets the eye rest and yes, lets the soul come to peace. When I drove through, the cloudy and cold November weather added a special atmosphere to this all: the sun sent some light rays across the green-brown land, something I always call holy light, one of the reasons I believe why this part of Italy (Umbria and Toscana) has brought so many saints to the world.

    © Ingrid D., November 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Beautiful and unique medieval house

    by croisbeauty Updated Jun 27, 2012

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    Siena is incredibly beautiful place and to me it is much more attractive than Florence. Maybe it hasn't such a fine palaces and art galleries, made to impress the visitors, but it has that touch of humanity and spontaneity which somehow is missing in Florence. I love the town of Verona which is the dearest Italian place to me, after visiting Siena it has the place right next to my Verona.
    Nothing can replace the stone and marble in building churches or palaces, same as nothing is giving that warmth to a houses as a red brick could give.

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    Fontino Via delle Vergini

    by croisbeauty Updated Jun 25, 2012

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    The underground Siena is formed by "Bottini" (chanels) a gallery, an underground waterwork gug just bellow ground, the works of which lasted for many years. At the beginning it was used to supply the public water sources and fountains and later also for private wells and tanks. The water was very important for medieval towns, not only for personal needs but also to tame the fires, which at that period was very frequent.
    This one is fountain of the contrada giraffa. Each contrada has its own small fountain where every year there is the baptism of new borns as membership.

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    Enchanting narrow streets

    by croisbeauty Written Jan 29, 2012

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    They say, "curiosity killed the cut" but it doesn't worth for Siena strollings. The more curious you are the bigger reward could be expected. There are number of off the beaten streets in the old core of the town and each new one is more beautiful the previous is. If I still remember well, the most of this streets could be find in Terzo di Camollia.

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    Spontaneous shootings

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 29, 2012

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    At times we are just lucky to take spontaneous pics realizing their attraction only after passing time. I was updating my Siena page after long time, by adding more pics from my album and writting some new reviews, and there was this picture which I forgot completely. It was taken inside of the Palace Chigi so have decided to share it here at my pages.

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    Where to buy extra film: Foto Ottica Moderna

    by joiwatani Written Nov 13, 2011

    I dropped my camera in Rome so my camera was acting up. I went around to look for a camera store to buy a pocket camera like my old one. The nearest store was called Foto Ottica Moderna. I didn't find any but saw the store has a few selections. They sell disposable cameras, batteries and v-chips.

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    The stores are small

    by joiwatani Written Nov 12, 2011

    Most of the stores in Siena are situated in old buildings and the openings are small. They can't really renovate the stores so they make use of the small entry way. They use it to put flags and souvenir items to attact visitors.

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    The streets are small and tiny

    by joiwatani Written Nov 12, 2011

    The best way to travel in Siena is to walk. You will be faster than the cars because the streets there are way, way too tiny. They= streets can only accommodate one small car. The streets are one way streets. With the tall old buildings and no clear and visible signs, you will get lost easily.

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    The spooky doors

    by joiwatani Written Nov 12, 2011

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    The Basilica Cateriniana di S Domenico church has hand carved arts on its main entrance door. They were a little bit spooky to me.

    I am not sure if some people noticed it but the wood carvings were dark and located on the main entry way.

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    Street signs in Siena

    by joiwatani Written Nov 12, 2011

    I found the street signs in Siena very different. The signs for hotels are also different.

    When reading them, make sure to remember your days because the parking lots are available on certain days.

    Also, the signs are so small you can't read them when you are driving but apparently, you have to drive very slow to the city since the roads are very small. It is best to rent an "api" (smallest car) to be able to navigate your way in Siena.

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    Siena at a distance

    by joiwatani Written Nov 12, 2011

    When we went to Siena, we took a bus from Rome. When we were about to reach Siena, the bus driver pointed us a hill where Siena was located. I took a picture of it while in the bus.

    Siena is nestled on top of a hill and you can see the towers of the Piazza.

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    The city fortress

    by joiwatani Written Nov 12, 2011

    It is unimaginable how in the old days people lived. We see the remnants of how unsafe their lives were during those days and in order to protect themselves, they had to built fortresses.

    The fortress in Siena is long and huge. These were made of red bricks stocked together as tall as the trees! They are wide and long.

    When we passed by the park, the fortress goes from one end to another parallelling the park.

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    Where the older people hang out

    by joiwatani Written Nov 12, 2011

    From the parking lot at the fortress in Siena, we saw this park with a fountain on it. There was a fountain in the middle and nice chairs.

    This is where the residents hang out away from the noise of the city. It has a nice paved walkways. The trees over there serve as shade during the summer time.

    The park is beside the fortress and it looks like the fortress serves as a huge fence for the park!

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Siena Off The Beaten Path

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