During one of our lessons, my teacher Claudio has selected the topic of different restaurants in Italy. And when he explained the differences between trattoria, ristorante, osteria, enoteca etc he suddenly asked me if I would like to have lunch in one of the cutest osterie in Siena. Of course I did, and so we went there next day. Grattacielo means skyscraper and indeed the name is very appropriate: the ceiling is very low and tall people have to bend down a bit. Inside it is tiny and has three tables only, covered with red-white checkerboard tablecloth (oh sweet memories). There isn’t any menu written anywhere, the guys cook what was being offered at the markets, so seasonal. The dishes are antipasti and are displayed in the glass case at the counter. When we were there we could select from approximately 10-15 antipasti. I did choose tomato salad, potato salad, zucchini and anchovies. We had red house wine and water. Can’t say how much the bill was because Claudio invited me but I suppose it couldn’t be much, maybe 5 Euro each or a bit more.
Needless to say that all dishes were very delicious, especially the zucchini. I can only highly recommend this tiny osteria! Oh and in warmer weather there are some more tables outside.
Favorite Dish: .
From Via Banco di Sopra (that’s the road which leads off at Loggia Mercanzia to Post Office and Piazza Gramci where the bus station is) walk uphill, pass Nannini’s bakery until you come to a small piazza and church to the right (east). Look for a newsstand, a flower seller and the shop of Elena Miro a couple of metres further up on the left hand side. Turn left and at the end of this covered tiny street is Il Grattacielo.
Closed on Mondays.
Il Grattacielo on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., November 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
Of course November was a silly month to eat ice cream. And of course Siena’s gelaterie will have open all year round because only we silly tourists eat ice cream in winter. I was no exception, but at least only once, haha. When I asked Letizia where to get the best gelato in her opinion, she dragged me to Kopa Kabana in the north-eastern part of town. I was lucky because this one would close its doors for winter on November 10 and we were there one day earlier. They didn’t have my favourite, cassata siciliana, but they had pistachio, my second favourite. In addition I picked amarena and was very much satisfied. Although it was silly to eat ice cream on a cold and rainy November day..... The two flavours came to 1,70 Euro, which, in my opinion, is relatively reasonable.
From Via Banco di Sopra, take a right turn at one of the shops of Libreria Feltrinelli, into Via dei Rossi. The turn shall be marked with a sign “Chiesa San Francesco”, because it is the road which leads to this church. Before the road turns to the right with another road downhill, look at your right and you see the huge ice cream icon standing outside the shop.
Gelateria Kopa Kabana on Google Maps
© Ingrid D., November 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
We ate at this place on recommendation of our hotel albeit that's its next door. The view is great but service quite poor and food not amazing. We shared an italian meat starter and both had some veal washed down with a nice bottle of red for 70 euro.
What a great location for a gelato shop! Right on Siena's popular main piazza - the famed Il Campo. That's where everybody meets - whether local or visitor. Perhaps that explains why there are several gelato shops on the piazza. I liked this one - on the city hall side of the plaza.
Favorite Dish: Gelato - cantalope!
Guido's sounds like a cheap spaghetti place in Atlanta, but it is a really nice restaurant in Siena. My wife says it was one of the 2 best meals we had in Italy in 2 weeks. It is on a back street (aren't they all) off the Campo and has an informal but elegant feel to it. It is by no means the cheapest place, but well worth the money.
Since it has been several years since we were here, I checked and they are still going in 2013. I have updated the price range as well. A bit expensive, but really, really good and a very lovely place.
Favorite Dish: We had bruschetta, mist salad, cannoli ala Guido (cream sauce with eggplant), spinach, rustici ala Guido (pasta with cream sauce, asparagus, mushrooms and truffles) washed down with a nice Chianti Classico and topped of with Creme Ciliegia (a delicious custard with cherry sauce). All of it was delicious.
Those of us who did not have umbrellas with us hugged the outer walls of Siena's main piazza in an awkward attempt to keep dry and warm. It was a damp morning - not one of those frog-strangling storms we American midwesterners have become accustomed to, but a gentle Seattle or London-like drizzle.
Snuggled up against the window of a pasticceria, we eyed a pastry that looked somewhat like a fruitcake. It was labeled "panforte," a Sienese specialty. Though neither of us are fans of fruitcake, and there were a multitude of tempting pastries available, we decided to give the panforte a try. One slice (more like a chunk) of panforte lasted us quite a while, not because we disliked it - we enjoyed it a lot. It was rich, sweet, and heavy. And very filling. I recommend giving it a try.
Note - I am not 100% certain I have correctly named this pasticceria, but you can't miss it if you are in the campo.
Favorite Dish: Panforte!
Located in the historic centre of Siena in the lower level of an old building, Santa Caterina offers excellent local Sienese dishes. The beautiful dining room has brick walls, arches and vaulted ceilings, and the restaurant has a few tables outside for clement weather (which is where my table was in May 2009).
Unfortunatelly I didn't catch the name of Pizzeria which is situated on the stairs leading to Piazza Campo. You can't miss it if coming from the direction of Via della Citta. There is a nice but small terrace right in front of the Pizzeria with only three or four tables. One must be really lucky to catch the free place in the evenings.
Favorite Dish: I made a short lunch break, in between exploring Siena, ordering pizza con prosciutto e funghi and cold beer. Pizza wasn't made on woods and therefore not as good as I did expected. It wasn't bad at all but I prefer if pizza made on woods. With espresso at the end it have cost me something more then 20€.
As most of the readers of my pages have probably noticed, trattoria is my favorite place for eating when I am in Italy. But not all trattoris offering good food, same as restaurants, some are good some are bad. There excist, however, a little sign of a good guessing if visiting trattoria for the first time. If tables in the trattoria with square tablecloths it is a hint that food might be very good. What I am expecting in Trattotia, same as all Mediterraneans, it is a kind of food which mum used to make.
Favorite Dish: La Tellina is typical old-fashioned trattoria with almost homemade dishes of Tuscan tradition, although the owner is originally from Neaples. It offers cozy and familiar ambience, as Italians saying "proprio come una volta" (just as once).
The best and most effective testing of an trattoria is by ordering spaghetti, if pasta made "al dente" you could be sure that the rest of the food will be delicious. La Tellina offers both seafood and the traditional Tuscan dishes. Orata, however, isnt daily fresh and yet cost 60€/kg., which is far too much.
I would suggest "spaghetti vongole e cozze" as a first dish and bianco sfuso after (bulk white wine), and for second dish something very typical Sienese, "il chingiale alla cacciatora con polenta, porcini e funghi", and rosso sfuso after. I am suggesting bulk wine, which is of good quality, because wine list is offering too expensive wines for an trattoria. Finaly, to those who love sweets, tiramisu made in La Tellina is almost perfect. The price is very affordable, around 30€ if single.
Italians know how to make gelato and they know how to display it! While in Siena, my husband had to try it…you know, just to see how Siena’s gelato compared to Florence and San Gimignano. So far, he hasn’t found one he doesn’t like! We stopped at corner shop near the Piazza del Campo, Brivido Gelato at the end of Via Del Pellegrini. The shop keeper was extremely friendly and the gelato was great. Tough to compare – I think hubby will keep trying the gelatos to continue his taste tests!
%xcbLike many other restaurants surrounding the Piazza del Campo, Bandiernmo offers a variety of Italian food. This restaurant is located at the far left of the fountain and it is one of the biggest restaurant in Siena.
The location of the restaurant is very nice because you have a view of the historic buildings of Siena. It also has an outside tables where you can eat during the summer time.
I didn't eat at this restaurant. I only checked out what food they have to offer. I was comparing prices of all the menus at different restaurants here as there are so many of them surrounding the piazza.
Although this business establishment is called "Bar Il Palio", it does not mean that it only served beer or wine. It also serves different kinds of Italian food.
This restaurant took it's name from the twice a year horse-racing event in Siena.
This restaurant has the front view of the Piazza Del Campo. Actually, when you are sitting outside this restaurant, you can see the surrounding of the piazza, you can see all the souvenir shops, the peddlers in their own little movable carts, the architecture of the buildings, the people who moved from one corner to another, the bank, etc.
The restaurant is very upbeat and alive what with students congregating outside the restaurant and sitting on the bricked floors of the piazza.
(Note: Sorry about the picture here, my camera was acting up. I accidentally dropped it at the airport in Rome!)
Some of the students we brought went to this restaurant where most of the locals and tourists go. It is located at the back of the fountain.
The restaurant has outside tables with a covered tarp. Some of the locals just hang out and watch the day go by. This restaurant offers pizza and other Italian food. It is also a cafeteria and a bar.
When we went to Siena, it was Tuesday and there were not a lot of people in town. There were few students just sitting at the piazza.
When we went to Siena, there were 29 of us. We brought high school students from high school in Burien, Washington. Most of the students didn't have a lot of pocket money. Most of them paid their trips in installment plan for two years. Some of the students brought $250.00 and some extra Euros as their expense money.
What was paid in the package was airfare, hotel, bus tickets, breakfast and dinners only. Lunches were not included and tips to the bus driver.
With their pocket money, the students have to budget it for 13 days - for their lunches and/or snacks and souvenir items.
In Siena, I chose the Ciao Ristorante since the food was great and very affordable to the students.
We ordered slices of pizza, salad and some drinks. The pizza at this restaurant was very good.
Favorite Dish: Pizza and fruit salad.
Hungry for spaghetti and pizza? The Bar 900 on Via Della Sapenza is the place. It's a very small restaurant but have Italian specialties like the bruschetta. Also, they have different menu changed every day and they advertise these at the door of the restaurant. Just ask for their specialties.