Awed by the Highlights of Siena, Italy. And thoughts on Italian fashion…

siena, italy header

We headed south after Pisa, the geography getting hillier and greener as we approached Siena.

Siena is a hilly, pretty city with one of the most beautiful piazzas in Italy (Piazza del campo), the 2nd highest tower in Italy (Torre del Mangia), and the most impressive Duomo (cathedral) I’ve ever seen. The interior of the Duomo is absolutely jaw dropping. It is a city full of churches, museums, and great views over the surrounding countryside.

Torre del Mangia, Siena, Italy

Above: Torre del Mangia  

The Piazza del Campo (below) is famous for the Palio, which is a no-holds-barred horse race run here twice a year. These races pit the 17 different neighborhoods of Siena against each other. You can’t go anywhere in Siena without hearing about the Palio, it is what unites but at the same time divides the Sienese more than anything else.

Piazza del campo, Siena, Italy

The Duomo di Siena (below) is absolutely stupendous. The interior is like a museum with its black and white marble pillars, intricate marble floor panels, beautiful renaissances frescos, a huge bronze dome, a sculpture of St. Peter by Michelangelo. What awed me most are the 170-odd busts of popes lining the cathedral, all looking down at you in an almost menacing manner. The whole cathedral was painted, sculpted, and decorated by the most celebrated Italian artists of that time. It is just amazing and I’m afraid these words and photos just don’t give it justice.

The incredible Duomo in Siena, Tuscany, Italy (1)

The incredible Duomo in Siena, Tuscany, Italy (6)

The incredible Duomo in Siena, Tuscany, Italy (3)

Duomo di Siena, Siena, Italy

The incredible Duomo in Siena, Tuscany, Italy (4)

The incredible Duomo in Siena, Tuscany, Italy (7)


Below: Views on the Piazza del Campo from the Torre del Mangia

views from Torre del Mangia, siena, italy (1)

views from Torre del Mangia, siena, italy (2)

views from Torre del Mangia, siena, italy (3)


Below: more images around  Siena.

around Siena, Italy

views over Piazza del campo, Siena, Italy

around siena, tuscany, italy (1)
buildings in siena, italy
around siena, tuscany, italy (2)
Piazza del campo at night, siena, italy


Italian fashion

Italians are very fashion conscious and you’ll see bright colours and the liberal use of hair gel. Surprisingly though, Italian fashion is more conservative and classical than anything I’ve seen in North America. I was also surprised to see that the preppy look of the 1980’s has made a comeback here. We found people-watching in Siena interesting.

fashion in Siena, Italy

Above: ok, that last one is a joke. I found it on the internet 🙂


Check out our Destination Guide on Italy for travel tips and highlights


We found that Siena has some of the most stunning architectural highlights to be seen in Tuscany. Have you been? What did you think of Siena?



  1. Siena is lovely. We like to stay just outside the city in the countryside. You can stay in a castle for less than $100 per night.
    Jennifer recently posted…Capture the Colour 2013My Profile

  2. It looks amazing – and your photo essay is quite comprehensive.
    Lori recently posted…A surprising building in Bucharest: Paucescu’s House, a mix of old and newMy Profile

    • Thanks Lori! And I’m always receptive to recommendations because Siena would be a place I would come back to.

  3. Siena is a really special place that doesn’t seem to get as much mention as the other cities. We chose Siena over Pisa for our day trip out of Florence and the place was beautiful! I’ve always been intrigued by medieval landscapes.
    YJ recently posted…6 Reasons to TravelMy Profile

  4. Siena, Italy… oh, you made me want to go there so bad.
    Laura recently posted…The Poet Hotel, Amsterdam. A Blend of StylesMy Profile

  5. The ceiling of the Piccolomini library in the cathedral is one of the coolest things we’ve seen in a church.
    Laura recently posted…Fulfilling a Dream – An African Big Five SafariMy Profile

    • Agree, it’s spectacular!

      [Clarification above where I didn’t describe it; the Piccolomini library is part of the Duomo di Siena and holds precious books and frescos. A photo of the ceiling is included above, it’s the last in the series of photos of the Duomo]

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