Florence to Siena
Drive Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes by car | Distance: 48 miles
The sloping, conch-shell-shaped Piazza del Campo – the civic heart of the city renowned for its exquisite beauty, and the setting of one of the world’s most ancient horse-races, Il Palio. It’s ideal for a spot of Sienese people-watching, and to soak up the beautifully preserved medieval atmosphere, too.
At 88 metres, Torre del Mangia is the second-highest medieval tower in all of Italy; and the observation deck’s breathtaking views over the Piazza del Campo, Il Duomo di Siena, the red roofs of the city and the surrounding hills are well worth the 400-step climb.
Take a walk around Il Duomo di Siena before entering to take in one of Siena’s most impressive buildings: a combination of French Gothic, Romanesque and Classical architectural elements, then head inside to explore the spectacular marble mosaic flooring, and works by Donatello and a young Michelangelo.
Built in 1325 and located just behind Il Duomo, Il Battistero di San Giovanni (the Baptistery), is one of Siena’s most important religious sites in the city, where all the city’s inhabitants, famous or not, were baptised under its rib vault over many centuries.
Arnolfo (Via XX Settembre, 50): a unique mix of art and fine dining perched high up in the old town of Colle di Val d'Elsa, amidst the stunning Tuscan countryside.
Stay: Grand Hotel Continental (2 nights)
Grand Hotel Continental
Occupying a beautifully restored 16th-century palazzo adorned with original frescoes and priceless antiques, the Grand Hotel Continental is the only five-star property in Siena’s centro storico, so you really can't get any more central.
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