Holiday Villas and Small Hotels in Tuscany

Routes around Tuscan towns

Since many of you have been asking for articles on the towns in Tuscany we are going to start a section of the blog focusing on routes to various Tuscan towns that can be made in a single day.

Today we will talk about the following route:
Siena - San Gimignano - Monteriggioni

This route is undoubtedly one of the most appealing of those that can be made in one day.

Starting in Siena and parking in the "Stadio di Siena" or in "Piazza del Mercato" you will find yourselves practically in the centre of town and just a 10 minute walk from the beautiful Piazza del Campo, one of the most impressive historical monuments in the city.
Your visit ought to continue towards the Duomo. The Duomo, or Cathedral, is 10 minutes on foot from the Piazza and certainly a place which any visit to Siena should include. It is simply exquisite, and in my opinion, the most beautiful cathedral in Italy after San Pedro. Its beauty is not only saved for its exteriors but its interiors are even more magnificent. Siena was one of the wealthiest cities in the world during the Middle Ages and the people wanted the cathedral to be the most beautiful in the world. Inside the cathedral you will find stunning mosaics and works of art by the great artists from different eras.
Once you´ve finished in the cathedral I recommend a walk around the centre, strolling its especially narrow and charming streets, and also two very quick visits to the Accademia Chigiana (Siena´s Academy of Music) and to Palazzo Salimbeni (the historical headquarters of the oldest bank in the world, Banco Monte dei Paschi di Siena).

This visit to Siena should last around 3 hours, finishing around 12. 30 if you´ve started your day promptly! Now you can head to Monteriggioni. 

 Monteriggioni is an interesting medieval village situated about 15km from Siena and so can be reached very quickly on this route. I suggest you have lunch here as it has a couple of particularly nice restaurants: The first is Bar dell Orso where you can eat a simple but delicious meal of cold cuts, cheese and good wine on the splendid terrace, The other restaurant I recommend is called il Pozzo and is found in Monteriggioni itself in the central square. Il Pozzo is certainly more expensive but a more elegant dining experience where you can enjoy excellent homemade pasta dishes. This restaurant also has a lovely little terrace so you can eat al fresco but in the shade.  
Monteriggioni has a small church which I certainly consider to be worth a visit as its towers and medieval walls are still in perfect condition.

About 3 in the afternoon you should be thinking about leaving Monteriggioni to head to San Gimignano. This little town is well known for its medieval architecture, one of the gems of the region. It has conserved many of the towers which in the Middle Ages belonged to wealthy merchants and families that wanted to show off their power to the rest of the city.

San Gimignano has an interesting cathedral with marvellous frescoes by Ghirlandaio, but even a walk through the city is an experience. In the highest part of town there is a bar with panoramic views where you might want to relax with a glass of wine.

If you leave around 17.30 you will have plenty of time to go back to your accommodation to get ready for an excellent Tuscan dinner… 

I hope you´ve enjoyed this article and have taken away some useful information.

As always, comments are welcome and particularly appreciated if you have something interesting to add regarding the topic discussed.

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