Siena is a city with historic roots, art and architecture. Who is closer to the playful side will find in Siena numerous folk festivals, with many food and wine routes, to suit every palate. Nature lovers visiting the Sienese district, the Chianti, the Val di Chiana, Val d’Orcia and Val d’Elsa. There is also a spa Siena, with many hot springs that emerge from the surrounding towns. We find some ideas to organize a cultural itinerary, spa, nature, fun, food and wine in Siena.
Siena is the land of the Baths. There are at least a dozen, with different temperatures, free and paid. They are so beneficial waters, to be defined most holy, as in the case of Chianciano Terme. We appreciated the restful and relaxing side of the spa, along with their purifying capabilities and beneficial for blood circulation, motor rehabilitation, articular and muscular system, biliary tract and ear nose and throat. Normally, in addition to the baths and mud, making mineral water treatments, inhalation, dermatological and aesthetic. The properties of the Sienese spas have been known since ancient times, from the time of the Etruscans and Romans. In a Siena Spa itinerary can not miss a visit to the free thermal baths of San Filippo, a nature area with calcium carbonate formations White and outdoor pools.
The reserve of Carline arise then the baths of Gallaraie of Radincoli, loved by naturalists. The Petriolo were the favorites of dukes, cardinals and men-at-arms. Pope Pius II he was a frequent visitor. San Quirico d’Orcia is an ancient village devoted to the worship of water, famous for its ruins of old mills. The plant in Chianciano Terme is very modern and frequented by famous sportsmen. Rapolano Terme is the ideal destination for those looking for a route between nature and wellness. Montepulciano Terme has several steaming pools, an ideal destination to visit this jewel of a city. San Casciano dei Bagni has been defined as “the most beautiful spa hotel in the world”. Very modern its facilities.
CYCLING ROUTES AND NATURE
Siena and its surroundings are perfect to be filmed by bike, on horseback or on foot, alone or with children. The Siena Chianti area is full of hills covered with vineyards. Many are the possible tour by bike or mountain bike you can do in Siena. An example: the tour in Val di Merse, between nature, stories of men and unique atmospheres. It starts from Sovicille, it bypasses the Senese Mountain, you pass the offshoots of the Cecina and Elsa, you touch the Maremma Grosseto. Another cycling route is the Eroica, to rediscover the streets of the historic tourism. 205 km long, is marked by signs. Part of Gaiole in Chianti, touching Crete, Murlo, Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino, vineyards of Brunello, Pieve, Buonconvento, the Via Francigena, route of Monte Sante Marie, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Vagliagli and Radda. Other pleasant route is the Path of Reclamation, through the Val di Chiana, almost completely flat. It starts from Chiusi to Montepulciano lake, cross the Sienese Valdichiana with the lakes of Chiusi and Foiano, you pass the valley and arrive at Arezzo.
If you want to go on a trekking route through the most wild lands of Siena you can choose various routes. The forest is home to the Rocconi reserve Pietraporciana, including lush forests, cliffs and flower meadows. Take a tour to the Museum of the Wood in Orgia, with museum tours through the woods, hike ideal for children, including landscape values, botanical and anthropological. The tour hosts Lucciolabella desert landscapes of the Val d’Orcia, steep valleys, fields and bare hills. Finally do a tour in the lake of Montepulciano, its marshy area is habitat of flora and fauna typical. The reserve offers guided tours and outputs Punting on the lake. The province of Siena has fewer than 14 nature reserves, in 9000 hectares of land. There are also 17 of the network Natura 2000 sites and 19 sites of regional interest. They defend themselves 400 naturalistic mergenze, like wolves, bats, reptiles and invertebrates. (About www.parks.it/parchi.siena/sog.php)
The city of Siena is rich in monuments, frescoes, sculptures, Gothic and Renaissance buildings, which constantly reaffirm the visitor vocation mainly artistic and historical city. It begins with Piazza del Campo, with the Palazzo Pubblico and its Civic Museum, the Fonte Gaia, the Torre del Mangia, the Cathedral, the Sanctuary of Santa Caterina, the Basilica of San Domenico, Palazzo Tolomei, Palazzo Piccolomini, Palazzo Salimbeni, Palazzo Chigi Saracini. Precious paintings of the National Art Gallery, as well as painted tablets of the Biccherne Museum. It is not only the center of Siena to amaze for its history and art, also in the surroundings there are many municipalities that have earned the orange flag of the Touring Club. It is a recognition that rewards those villages that stand out for offering excellent tourist and for the protection of cultural heritage. So here’s that are worth a visit Radda in Chianti, Montalcino, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, Trequanda, Cetona, Sarteano, Radicofani. They nearly all villages of medieval mold, with Etruscan settleme
The Council of Europe declared the Francigena “great cultural itinerary.” This ancient road used in the past by pilgrims and merchants is now one of history and culture of the area. (About www.francigena.provinca.siena.it – www.viefrancigene.org) An ideal route of this pathway can include these five stages: San Gimignano-Moteriggioni-Monteroni-San Quirico-Radicofani.
FOOD AND WINE TOURS
Many typical Sienese products, including wine, honey, chestnuts, beef, oil, bread, truffle, saffron, sweet, Cinta Senese. These products from antiquity are the main source of livelihood in the area. Inns, restaurants, farms, hotels and local Sienese offer wine tours to discover products to zero km, short chain and biological. Famous Florentine steak coming from the loins of the Chianina cow, cattle breed in the area. And again: pappardelle with wild boar or hare sauce, omelette with pici, the boundary pig, pecorino of Siena, vegetables and cured meats. Among the wines all varieties of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
The Chianti region is perfect to organize food and wine tours, as many farms and vine-wine estates are open to guided tours, tastings and dinners. Food and wine is combined with the local folklore thanks to the many village festivals. Here are some Sienese festivals not to miss in a winery tour: the feast of the fungus in Vivo d’Orcia, the festival of Brown in Campiglia d’Orcia, the festival of crouton of Castiglione d’Orcia, Jazz & Wine, the festival of honey and the thrush of Montalcino, the cheese fair in Pienza, the festival of ravioli Cotignano, the oil festival of San Quirico d’Orcia, the festival of knot-shaped biscuit of Sinalunga, the festival of the vin Santo di Montepulciano, the feast of the Cetona beer.
Many events that assist with the children: between gaming events, festivals, fairs and playful events. Before playful party, historical and cultural is undoubtedly the Palio di Siena, which is held in July 2 and August 16. Another characteristic festival in Siena is San Giuseppe of 19 March. Famous are the rice pancakes of Saint Joseph, which are sold during the festival. The playful celebrations are combined with religious ones, such as on the occasion of the fair of Saint Lucia, Sant’Ansano, Beta Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the feast of Santa Rita, San Bernardino, San Giovanni Battista, St. Catherine.
The most famous night clubs and discos of the city: La Vispa Teresa, with its underground concert, the Red Baron, a rock-reggae pubs, the Maudit, English pub with many beers. Between the Siena village festivals I suggest these: the barrel race through the di Montepulciano, the Giostra del Saracino Sarteano, Barbarossa’s Feast of San Quirico d’Orcia, the Giostra di Simone Montisi, the Sagra del Tordo Montalcino.
A playful and nature trail is ideal for children can be the one proposed by the Nature Train, the steam train that goes into the Sienese offering unique views (Info: tel 0577207413 – www.ferrovieturistiche.it). (Click here for more ideas on what to see in Tuscany with children).
Visit Siena during the Easter holidays, Christmas, New Year or Carnival, the city always organizes many events.