Italy
Dolce Vita Bloggers Linky, Lifestyle, Siena, travel, Traveling With Kids

3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Siena, Italy

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Are you planning to go on a trip to Italy? If you are, then I bet that you have already put Rome, Pisa, Milan, and Florence on your travel bucket list. But have you ever considered going to the medieval city of Siena in Tuscany? Siena is only an hour away from Florence, and it is a definite must-see! Read on to find out why.

Where is Siena, Italy?

Siena is an enchanting city in Central Tuscany. It is a definite must-see for its medieval architecture and charm. It is a small city (50,000) in the heart of Tuscany and lies between the Chianti area, the “crete senesi” (an area of rolling clay hills that change colour according to the season), the Mar Tireno and the Florentine area.

Siena, Italy

 

Main Attractions

The Piazza del Campo is where the world-famous, super exciting Palio horse race is held twice a year (July 2 and August 16). This magnificent shell-shaped square was laid out by the Consiglio dei Nove in the mid-14th century. Here you will also find the striking Palazzo Pubblico. The Torre del Mangia is one of the buildings overlooking the shell-shaped plaza. It is located within the historic centre of Siena, which was a nominated UNESCO protected site (1995).

What You Will Love About Siena

  1. You will love strolling through the cobblestone streets. The city center has many charming shops, restaurants, and cafes. Most cars are not allowed inside the city center so you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon or early evening stroll with your family. I definitely recommend the evening walking tour where you can appreciate the beauty of the city at night! You will enjoy the picturesque view of the entire city if you go to the top of the wall (Fortezza).

Market Day #sienaitaly #hannahdiamo #enjoysiena

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2. Another thing to love about Siena is the local Tuscan cuisine. The recipes are simple but the food is amazing! I am not an excellent cook, but my cooking has definitely improved just by using the fresh ingredients! I recommend dining at Bar La Favorita Siena at the City Center. Another favorite is the Orto de Pecci, a farm with a restaurant that serves authentic Tuscan cuisine. If you have small children, this is the place to go! Kids will enjoy seeing the ducks, goats, chickens, and peacocks in the surrounding areas.

3. Good news for parents with small children: Siena is a kid-friendly city! You will find many kid-friendly places such as parks and playgrounds all around the city center. Children can enjoy the wide open space at the Piazza del Campo while they play with the pigeons. The Siena Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico dell’Universita di Siena) is a must-see for nature lovers.

#fonte with Dante ♥️#granadventures #sienaitaly #aroundsiena

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#lemeridiane #italiainunoscatto #enjoysiena #aroundsiena

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#saturdayplayday #Chicco #granadventures #sienaitaly

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How Can You Reach Siena?

By Air: The nearest airports are in Florence (Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci) and in Pisa (Aeroporto Galileo Galilei)

By Train: Trains are a reliable and convenient method of transport in Italy. There are several types of trains. Some stop at all stations, such as regionale or interregionale. Other faster trains, such as the Intercity (IC) or EuroCity (EC), stop only at major cities. Remember to buy your ticket and register it in the small yellow machines at the head of each platform before you enter the train.

By Bus: Bus connections to cities such as Florence, Grosseto, Milan, and Rome are provided by Train, Sita, Sena and Rama.

By Car (www.autostrade.it): Connections to the A1 Milan-Rome-Naples motorway:

From North: Exit Firenze Certosa, then proceed to the Firenze-Siena highway

From South: Exit Valdarno, then proceed on the 408 Chiantigana road in the direction Montevarchi-Gaiole-Siena. Exit Valdichiana, then proceed on the Bettole-Siena highway. Exit Chiusi, then proceed on the SS 146 and take the SR2.

 

Have you ever been to Siena? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments!

Grazie mille, Kristie, Jasmine and Kelly for this #DolceVitaBloggers January link-up! Read this to find out how you can join the monthly link-up for lovers of Italy.

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Lifestyle

What Do Italians Have for Breakfast?

 

I came from a country where rice and a viand (e.g. meat, fish or chicken) is usually eaten at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My favorite breakfast meal in the Philippines is called “tapsilog”, which consists of cured beef, fried egg, and fried rice. When my family came to Italy, we tried to copy what Italians typically eat primarily because we want to integrate into their society. One thing we eliminated from our diet was white rice, and I was surprised by how much weight we lost over the last couple of months because of this change.

I noticed that in Siena (a city in Tuscany), locals typically have a cup of coffee (usually a cappuccino or an espresso) and a sweet pastry (usually a “cornetto” or an Italian croissant) for breakfast (“colazione“).

I was generally confused by the many ways in which the locals consume their caffeine. An espresso is a small amount of very strong black coffee. A caffe doppio is the double amount of the normal espresso. A caffe lungo is a larger less concentrated amount of espresso. A caffe americano is a full cup of black coffee. A corretto is an espresso with a dash of grappa (or some other spirit). A macchiatto is an espresso with a small amount of milk. Latte macchiato is milk with a spot of coffee. Cappuccino is an espresso topped with hot, frothy milk. By the way, Italians do not drink cappuccino (coffee with frothy milk) in the afternoon or evening.

Buon giorno! 🌏🌍🌏 #uncaffe #nocciola #italyblogger

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In the Philippines, breakfast bread is usually eaten with cheese. In Italy, however, cheese is eaten during lunch and dinner. Breakfast has to be sweet in Italy.

You can eat breakfast at a “bar” (coffee shop). Usually, if you’re just getting coffee, you drink it while standing up. Typically, a cappuccino would cost 1.50 euros, and a pastry would cost around 1 euro.

To order in Italian, you can say simply say “un caffè per favore” if you’re ordering an espresso or “un cappuccino per favore” if you specifically want a cappuccino. Pastries on display usually come with labels, so I would simply point to what I want and read its name.

Dan’s blog at https://breadcakesandale.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/italian-breakfast-and-why-a-cornetto-isnt-a-croissant/ can tell you more about the different types of Italian pastries you can order. My personal favorite is the nocciola (hazelnut-filled a.k.a. Nutella) because it goes so well with the cappuccino.

If you ever have a chance to visit Siena, it would be nice to have breakfast at the Caffe Nannini or Bar Siena (free Wifi), located at Piazza Gramsci, or at Cibiamo (free Wifi) at Galleria Portasiena.

Read Next: Walk Back In Time: Siena, Tuscany

Uncategorized

Top 3 Things to Do in Siena For Christmas

Siena is a beautiful medieval town in Tuscany, Italy. It has been three months since our big move from Manila, Philippines to this small citta, which is an hour and a half away by bus from the more popular city of Florence.

Christmas in Siena can also be very exciting and fun, and the city hosts many activities for families with small children:

1. An Early Morning Visit to Babbo di Natale’s (Father Christmas’s) Palace

I recommend visiting in the morning to avoid the long line. For 6 Euros per child, you can take a tour of Santa Claus’s castle located in Palazzo Patrizi at Via di Citta. It opens mid-December and lasts until the end of the month. At the end of the tour, we got to meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and were treated to free chocolate and hot tea.

2. An Afternoon at the Carnival

#carousel #granadventures #buonnatale🎄 #christmasinsiena #sienacomunica

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#bumpercars #christmasinsiena #buonnatale🎄 #granadventures

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The carnival is located across the bus station or Piazza Gramsci beside the NH Hotel. Rides usually cost 1 euro per child. When we went in December 2017, they have a carousel, bumper cars, giant slides, a bouncy house, carnival game booths, food booths and Santa’s sleigh and cabin. You can also see Santa Claus walking around the fair while saying hi to the kids.

#babbodinatale #santababy #granadventures

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3. An Evening at the City Center

Siena decorates its streets with Christmas lights and Christmas trees so there will be plenty of opportunities to take lots of holiday photos with your family. The church bells ringing, the chestnuts roasting and the holiday lights sparkling will surely bring joy to kids and parents alike.

#silentnightholynight🎶 #churchbellsringing #christmasinsiena

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And if you’re lucky, you might be able to catch the March of the Santas:

#marchofthesantas #christmasparade2017 #christmasinsiena

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Don’t forget the reason for the season! There’s a beautiful nativity in Piazza del Campo right beside the giant Christmas tree.

#christoursaviorisborn #christmasinsiena #buonnatale🎄 #happybirthdayjesus❤️

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I also recommend booking your stay at the beautiful Le Meridiane, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. It is located at Via Fracassi, N. 3. Prices are at 180 Euros per night.

#poinsettiaseason at #lemeridiane #christmasinsiena #sienacomunica

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Jailbreak🚧#italiainunoscatto #lemeridiane

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Under the Tuscan Sun 🇮🇹

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www.lemeridiane.com