Siena Sightseeing Tour (Self Guided), Siena

Siena is a beautiful medieval city situated in the center of the Toscana region. As a city with a rich history, it has a lot of cultural and historical attractions to offer visitors. The following tour will lead you to the most famous sights of Siena.
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Siena Sightseeing Tour Map

Guide Name: Siena Sightseeing Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Siena (See other walking tours in Siena)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: irenebo
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Porta Camollia
  • Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione
  • Chiesa di Sant'Andrea
  • Fonte Branda
  • Via di Città
  • Piazza del Campo
  • Fonte Gaia
  • Torre del Mangia
  • Piazza del Mercato
  • Logge del Papa
  • Chiesa di San Vigilio
  • Porta Ovile
Porta Camollia

1) Porta Camollia

The Porta Camollia is one of the earliest gateways constructed along the walls that guarded the city of Siena. It forms part of the territory of the Sovereign Contrada dell'Istrice, one of the seventeen districts in the city.

The Porta Camollia dates back to the 7th century. According to legend, Romulus, one of the founders of Rome, sent his commander, Camulio to the north of Italy to capture his rebellious nephews, Aschio and Senio. Camulio and his men camped at the site where the gate was later erected. It has been called the gate of Camulio or Porta Camollia ever since. The Porta Camollia served as the entrance for pilgrims visiting the city from other parts of Italy in medieval times. It was heavily guarded because of its location on the road called Via Cassia, that led to the city of Florence. The original gate, built in the 13th century, was completely destroyed during the Siege of Siena in 1555. The present Porta Camollia structure dates back to 1604. It was designed by Alessandro Casolani. The sculptures that adorn the gate are by Domenico Cafaggi. The exterior arch has a sculpture recording the entrance of the Spanish King Ferdinand I into the city after the Spanish conquest.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione

2) Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione

The Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione or the Church of Saint Peter of the Mansion is a medieval structure that dates back to the crusades. It is an important church located in the territory of the Contrada dell'Istrice, one of the 17 districts of Siena. There are records to show that the Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione existed from the year 998. The Counts Bernard and Gualfredi Ranieri gifted the land to the city to build a church and lay vineyards in that year. Since it was located near the Porta Camollia through which pilgrims and crusaders passed on their way to the holy land, the Knights Templars took over the management of the church and converted it into a hospital in the twelfth century. After the abolition of the order in 1312, it passed into the hands of the Knights Hospitallers.

The Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione is a rectangular structure with a nave, a semicircular apse and a wooden roof. The bell tower has the design of templar churches during the crusades. The exterior and interior of the church have several stone templar crosses. The frescoes on the walls were painted by the Knights Hospitallers and depict scenes from the Old and the New Testaments.
Chiesa di Sant'Andrea

3) Chiesa di Sant'Andrea

The construction of Chiesa di Sant'Andrea ended in 1262. In the 18th century there was a total reconstruction of the medieval elements of the facade, including the arches, tower and courtyard. Inside the church you will find the frescoes of Martino di Bartolomeo and Astolfo Petrazzi.
Fonte Branda

4) Fonte Branda

The Fonte Branda is the oldest city fountain in Siena. It was principal source of water in the city during the middle ages. The Fonte Branda was designed by Giovanni di Stefano and built in 1246. It is mentioned as an ancient fountain even in Dante’s Inferno and the writings of Boccaccio. During the middle ages, it was surrounded by houses of craftsmen and their workshops. Later it became the site of a slaughterhouse. The area has been restored today to house workshops of craftsmen who strive to preserve the ancient arts and crafts of Siena. Visitors can view the Fonte Branda on their way to the house of St. Catherine of Siena and the Basilica of San Dominico.

The Fonte Branda resembles a small fortress with three pointed arches and crenellations which formed a Guelph battlement during the battle of Montaperti. During the middle ages, it was a rich water source that quenched the thirst of passing travelers, gave power to nearby mills and supplied water to tanners and dyers of woolen fabric in the city. Like all fountains in Siena, the first basin of the Fonte Branda contained water for drinking, the second was used for watering animals and the third was a toilet.
Via di Città

5) Via di Città (must see)

The Via di Citta is one of the main streets of old Siena. Today it is a pedestrian road that is flanked by many of the well known historical buildings in the city. The Via di Citta or City Road was once called the Via Galgaria. This was because it consisted at the time of the shops of the city shoemakers. The road is laid as a slope and the highest point which is a quarter flanked by medieval structures commands spectacular views across the Siena. At one end of the street is a square called the Quattro Cantoni. The square is the meeting point of the main streets of the city. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the high society of the city frequented the site.

The beautiful buildings along the Via di Citta are the Palazzo Patrizi that dates back to the 14th century and houses the Accademia degli Intronati today, the music academy at the Palazzo Chigi-Saracini, the Palazzo delle Papesse, a Florentine renaissance style building that houses a contemporary arts center, the Gothic style, Palazzo Marsili and the Loggia della Mercanzia, the Sienese equivalent of a chamber of commerce. Of the three main streets of old Siena, the Via di Citta is flanked by the most stately and elegant buildings in the city.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Piazza del Campo

6) Piazza del Campo (must see)

Piazza del Campo is the principal public space of Siena, and is one of Europe's greatest medieval squares. Its red-brick fan shaped paths radiate out from the facade of the Palazzo Pubblico. At the Piazza's completion, it has remained the site of the city's public events, including bullfights, executions, festivals and also the location of the Palio horse races in July and August. The open site of the public space was a marketplace established before the thirteenth century. There are ten lines of travertine on the piazza, which divide it into nine sections, radiating from the mouth of the gavinone (the central water drain) in front of the Palazzo Pubblico. The number of divisions are held to be symbolic of the rule of The Nine.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Fonte Gaia

7) Fonte Gaia (must see)

The Fonte Gaia is a monumental fountain located opposite the Palazzo Publico on the high side of Piazza del Campo in Siena. Surrounded by fences, the fountain is a protected monument in the city. The Fonte Gaia was designed by local sculptor, Jacopo della Quercia, in 1419, in keeping with the style traditional for Sienese fountains. It consisted of a rectangular basin surrounded by a high parapet on three sides. The parapet was covered with bas reliefs. The bas reliefs depicted the creation of Adam and the flight from the Garden of Eden. The long section has a statue of the Madonna and the Child surrounded by allegories of the virtues.

The fountain was placed on the site of a previous one, created in 1346. It got its name from the celebrations that took place when water flowed from the fountain for the first time. Legend holds that the fountain was met with much joy, and thus the name Gaia or joyous. Others suggest the term Gaia refers to the Latin term for "bride", and that the fountain was dedicated to the bride of God and patron of Siena, the Virgin Mary. The original panels, created by Jacopo della Quercia, fell into disrepair in the 19th century. Tito Sarrochi reproduced the originals, while the old panels were removed and displayed in the loggia of the Palazzo Publico. The Fonte Gaia was recently renovated again, in 1990, by the city council.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Torre del Mangia

8) Torre del Mangia (must see)

The Torre del Mangia is adjacent to the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena. When the tower was completed, it was the tallest structure in Italy. The tower was built to be exactly the same height as the Siena Cathedral as a sign that the church and the state had equal amounts of power. Literally meaning ‘Tower of the Eater’, the name refers to its first bellringer, Giovanni di Balduccio, nicknamed Mangiaguadagni (‘eat-the-profits’, or, ‘profit eater’) for his spendthrift tendency or his idleness or gluttony.

The Torre del Mangia was built between 1338 and 1348. The upper part was designed by the Sienese Byzantine style artist Lippo Memmi. In 1352, a loggia, dedicated to the Holy Virgin, made of marble with a wooden ceiling, called the Cappella di Piazza, was added by the Sienese survivors of the Black Death. In 1360, a clock was placed in the tower. The present pilaster was a restoration, made in 1378, and the sculptures on the pilaster were carved between 1378 and 1382. The wooden ceiling of the loggia was replaced with marble between 1461 and 1468. The medieval structure served as a watchtower to warn the citizens of enemy attacks. The design has inspired later many towers located in the UK and the USA. The Torre del Mangia is 88 meters high. It is a brick structure with a stone bell hall at the top. A bell, weighing 6,764 kg, was placed here in 1666. A winding staircase, consisting of 400 steps, takes visitors to the top of the tower where they can take in breathtaking views across Siena.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Piazza del Mercato

9) Piazza del Mercato

Piazza del Mercato is a Market Square located behind the Palazzo Publico and can be mentioned as a flea market operating on the local level. It is held on Wednesday mornings. Here you can find everything.
Logge del Papa

10) Logge del Papa

The Logge del Papa or Pope’s Lodge was built in 1462 and has undergone several restorations since. The Logge was designed by architect Antonio Federighi, who was commissioned to the project by Pope Pius II. The Pope himself was born and studied in Siena. He came from an old noble family of the city, the Piccolominis. His secular name, prior to becoming the Pope, was Enea Silvio Piccolomini. For several years he served as the Bishop of Siena. Whilst already the Pope, he remained greatly attached to his hometown Pienza, located in the province of Siena, and largely helped to improve its layout. It was Pius II who canonized Catherine of Siena as a saint. He is also the only Pope, so far, to have written an autobiography, called the Commentaries.

The Logge del Papa features a Renaissance style with three wide arches. The arches are supported by slender Corinthian columns that form an elegant colonnade. The design shows the severity quite typical of the region where it is located. Today, the building forms part of the city’s historic center. It stands near the family residence of Pope Pius II, the Palazzo Piccolomini, which houses the public archives of Siena.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Chiesa di San Vigilio

11) Chiesa di San Vigilio

The Church of San Vigilio is a sacred building dedicated to the bishop and martyr San Vigilio. The interior has magnificent wooden ceilings with works by Raffaello Vanni. The church is also known for its rich sculptural decoration, a prime example of which is the large bronze crucifix by Ferdinando Tacca.
Porta Ovile

12) Porta Ovile

The original Porta Ovile dates back to 1230, but the gates were rebuilt and enlarged several times over the years. It is a more modern structure that appears today rather than the gate erected in the fourteenth century. It is built entirely of brick, with a massive rampart for protection.

Walking Tours in Siena, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Siena

Create Your Own Walk in Siena

Creating your own self-guided walk in Siena is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Museum Tour of Siena

Museum Tour of Siena

Siena is famous for its museums, which preserve a great number of cultural masterpieces. The museums of Siena showcase paintings, sculptures and frescoes that date back to ancient times. You can also get aсquainted with other objects related to the cultural and historical development of the city. If you want to feel the spirit of Siena, visit the notable museums included on this tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Siena Introduction Walking Tour

Siena Introduction Walking Tour

The historic city of Siena in Italy's Tuscany, founded by ancient Etruscans, is laden with monuments. Among them are numerous medieval sculptures, some dating back as far as the 13th century, an unfinished Gothic cathedral by Niccolo Pisano and Donatello, and others. To find out more about the riches of Siena, follow this orientation walk and explore the city's top attractions.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Top Religious Buildings

Top Religious Buildings

Churches in Siena have both historical and cultural value, as almost every one of them is decorated with Renaissance art. Some of the masterpieces date back to the 13th century. A walking tour of Siena's places of worship is the best way to learn about the cultural and spiritual center of the city. Take this tour to visit some of Siena's most famous churches.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Siena's Historical Buildings Tour

Siena's Historical Buildings Tour

Siena is the city of ancient architecture. You can observe architectural styles from different periods of history in Siena's imperious castles, palaces and other historic buildings. Be sure to visit Siena's most important historic structures that are found on this tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles