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Siena in 3 days: what to see in the town of Palio

Siena: one of most amazing towns in Italy where history still lives in its alleys and narrow street, full of the colors and sound of the real Tuscan tradition.
This week we will try to design for you a three days itinerary in town to enjoy the local sights, deeply aware that Siena would need more than that to be discovered.
Walking through the streets and hidden alleys is to find a new piece of history around every corner. There, the stones "speak" and tell old secrets of a place with a glorious past.

First day: the Palio tradition

We start from the heart of the city, the charming Piazza del Campo. Climb the 400 steps of the Torre del Mangia is a must for those who love the breathtaking views and want to take great pictures. Public Palace, the Town Hall and the Civic Museum are worth a visit. The beautiful building, one of the most important examples of Gothic civil architecture in the world, home to magnificent works of art such as the frescoes of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and the Maestà by Simone Martini.

Near the Campo, we find Palazzo Piccolomini and the Pope Lodges, designed for the pope Pius II Piccolomini. If you have enough time, go to see the Biccherne inside of the State Archives, namely 103 covers of the accounting books of the Municipality, paint by some of the most important Senese artists such as Domenico Beccafumi and Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
A less famous place, but no less interesting of course, is the so-called "Valley of Porta Giustizia". In the Middle Ages the condemned people emerged from prison under the Public Palace and traveled along on foot the underlying Malcontenti to leave the city through the Porta Giustizia. The ancient and tragic journey is now a place full of color and life, the Orto dei Pecci, the area planted with orchards since the sixteenth century. Enjoy the spectacular view of the City Palace and the Torre del Mangia from another new perspective.

Second day: Siena and the Medici

Second day: Siena is not Siena without Palio. To begin to understand its true meaning, a good idea would be to visit the museum of one of the seventeen districts. On the website of the City of Siena you will find the complete list with the addresses and the official sites to proceed to compulsory reservation.

Follow the traditions and stop by the Medici Fortress, built in 1560 by Cosimo de 'Medici and present headquarter of the Siena Jazz Foundation and Italian Enoteca (Wine library), where you can taste the best local wines: a magnificent place that will surely take your breath away at all oenophiles.
A few steps further, you will find the magnificent Basilica of San Domenico, built in 1226. In addition to the numerous works of art, the church houses the relic of St. Catherine's head. Continue through the Costa del Serpe up to Fontebranda, perhaps the most important of the city. According to Dante and Boccaccio, are its waters the responsible of the Senese madness.

Credits photo Fontebranda: https://studiareallesteroinitalia.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/i-fonti-di-fontebranda-siena-italia/.

Going via the Galluzza with its arches connecting the houses beside the road, you get to Ponte di Diacceto, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Basilica of San Domenico. Moving on, we enter in the charming Carriage Alley, they witnessed "ugly and dishonest things."

Third day: the via Francigena

Credits photo Biccherne: http://www.iltesorodisiena.net/2015/01/29-gennaio-1607-camillo-borghesi-e.html.

You cannot leave without first visiting the Museum Complex of Santa Maria della Scala. It is one of the oldest hospitals of the town built along the Via Francigena, to give assistance to the pilgrims who came to Rome, undoubtedly one of the most important welfare centers in history. With its fabulous frescoes, works of art of great value and very beautiful spaces, especially in the basement, the museum is worth a visit. Continue the full immersion in beauty and history with a walk in the magnificent Cathedral, architectural marvel, one of the greatest examples of Italian construction in Romanesque-Gothic style.

Those who want to buy pieces of the most authentic and valuable Senese crafts can only make a jump to Senarte, Via Federigo Tozzi, which is home to beautiful pieces by local artists and offers visitors all the information to find the best shops.

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