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If you are staying in the Tuscan city of Siena, or want to do a day trip to this delightful small city, then a half-day private walking tour with me is the best way to discover its secrets and masterpieces. I will come to collect you at your hotel in the city center, or we can meet up in front of the Basilica di San Domenico if you are arriving that morning. The stunning Basilica is perched on top of one of the three hills of Siena, at the entrance to the historic city center across from the soccer stadium and fortress. Siena is still protected by medieval walls with impressive doors, but boasts an origin even older than this. We will begin with a visit inside San Domenico where you can see the holy relics of St. Catherine, one of the Patron Saints of Italy and the person said to be responsible for returning the Papacy from Avignon to Rome. Next I will take you through the ancient streets to the Duomo, the main Cathedral of Siena, one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in all of Italy with unforgettable frescoes in the Piccolomini Library and special tiled floors that are periodically uncovered for viewing. From here we can visit some of Siena’s beautiful public fountains, while I explain the incredible aqueducts that run underneath the city even today. The most important fountain is Fonte Gaia, a monumental fountain located in the Piazza del Campo, which is actually a replica as the original panels are housed in the Santa Maria della Scala museum. The famous Piazza del Campo is a shell shaped square at the heart of Siena with its soaring Torre del Mangia tower and the buildings of the City Hall which also include a museum with an entire room filled with Lorenzetti’s Allegory of Good and Bad Government frescoes. Each year the square is packed with dirt and transformed for the Palio horserace which is run twice a year on July 2nd and August 16th with 10 of the 17 contrada neighborhoods competing. As the tour concludes, I can take you to taste a local almond pastry called ricciarelli in a local bakery or perhaps enjoy a gelato from one of the shops lining the main streets shooting off from the main square.
Duration: 3 hours.
*Entrance fee for the Duomo ranges from 6 to 9 euros per person. Children 6 and under are free, Children ages 6-18 may be eligible for discounts with valid ID. Entrance fees may vary depending on your interests and are to be paid directly on site.
Important: Some churches may be closed during certain times on Sunday for services.