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Siena in Tuscany, also spelled Sienna, is one of the most stunning hill top towns in all of Italy. The traditional rival of Florence this city is often overlooked by tourists in favor of its rival. It is sad because Siena is amazing city in its own right with one of the best old towns in all of Italy and the stunning central plaza of Piazza del Campo should not be missed. Especially if your lucky enough to catch of the amazing horse race of The Palio held in it twice a year.
The city area was first settled during the first millennium BC as an Etruscan village. Although the city was not mentioned in Roman records until AD 70. The cities Roman origins can still be seen in the town's emblem of a female wolf breast feeding the infants of Romulus and Remus. Local legends hold that Siena was founded by Senius a son of Remus. No one is really sure if this is were Siena gets its name because there have been many other Siena sounding groups or events in the towns history.
Under Roman rule the city was a bit of backwater but it grew in power when roads had to rerouted to avoid Byzantine raids along the coast. This also brought many Christian pilgrims into the city on their way to Rome, giving Siena additional wealth. This led to the erosion of the power of the church and by 1179 Siena had written its own constitution and founded a republic. The 13th and 14th century were considered the high times in Siena society even with the occasional war with Florence.
Sadly during the 15th and 16th century city's power declined and the Spanish conquered Siena with the help of Florence in 1555. King Charles of Spain owned so much money to the powerful Florentine Medici family that he gave Siena and some coastal areas to Florence adding to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Thus marking the end of the Republic of Florence.
Most of the tourist sights are located within the old town. The old town is pretty easy to navigate by foot.
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Siena Cathedral, in Italian Duomo di Siena, is the main church in Siena. This cathedral was built between 1215 to 1263 in the shape of a latin cross. The interior and exterior are designed with white and greenish black marble in altering stripes, these are symbolic colors to Siena. There is also red marble on the façade. On the outside of the church the erie remains of a started expansion can be seen when walking around the exterior on the south end of the church. This expansion would have doubled the size of the church was only stopped because of the bubonic plague in 1348. The inside has great artwork and several interesting relics including a depiction of the Slaughter of the Innocents.
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Siena's weather is comparable to the average weather in Italy. A Mediterranean climate with mild but wet winters and dry and warm/hot summers, with temperatures mostly around 30 °C from June to early September. Winters can get quite cold sometimes and a sweater or jacket is absolutely necessarry. Snow is rare.
The nearest airport is in Florence.
It is possible to reach Siena by train from Florence and Pisa, although it requires a change in Empoli. Remember to note that the train station is located at the bottom of the hill outside the city walls. If you have lots of luggage you might want to take taxi
Buses come and go from Piazza Gramsci, located within the old town. Buses go directly from Florence, near the Florence train station, and takes an hour. It is also possible to get buses to and from Rome, 3 hours, and Milan, 4.5 hours.
|A Casa Mia||Via E.S.Piccolomini 125, 53100 Siena||Guesthouse||-|
|Agriturismo La Selva||Strada Pian del Lago 19||Guesthouse||-|
|Albergo La Perla||Via Delle Terme N. 25 Piazza Indipendenza 25||Hotel||88|
|Arcobaleno Boutique Hotel Siena||Via Fiorentina 32/40 Tuscany||Hotel||-|
|Borgo Antico||Via Di Lucignano 405 Monteroni D'Arbia||Hotel||-|
|Camping Siena Colleverde||Strada Shiacciapensieri 47 Siena||Campsite||84|
|Casa Vacanze il Campo||Via Salicotto n. 73||Apartment||89|
|Castello di Selvole||Loc. Selvole, Vagliagli Selvole||Apartment||94|
|Fattoria di Cavaglioni||Via del Poggetto 1 San Rocco a Pilli Sovicille||Guesthouse||93|
|Gli Angeli B&B||Via Cassia Sud, 106||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel 1000 Miglia||Via Cassia sud Monteroni d'Arbia||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Antica Torre||via Fieravecchia 7||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Chiusarelli||Viale Curtatone, 15||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Minerva||Via Garibaldi 72||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Palazzo di Valli||via Piccolomini 135||Hotel||-|
|Hotel San Marco||Via (strada) Massetana, 70 siena||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Villa Belvedere||Strada Sesnese Colle di Val D'Elsa||Hotel||89|
|Il Colombaio Bed & Breakfast||Podere Il Colombaio 12 Torri||Guesthouse||-|
|L'Aia Residence||Via Uopini, 11 Via Fiorentina, 95||Hotel||-|
|La Vecchia Cartiera||via Oberdan,5/7/9 Colle Val D'Elsa||Hotel||-|
|Le Camerine di Silvia||Via E. Bastianini 3||Guesthouse||92|
|Miniresidenze Ciompi||Via Del Porrione,91||Hostel||91|
|Oasi Del Grillo||Localita Colonna Del Grillo 5 Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena)||Apartment||84|
|Residence Paradiso||Via del Paradiso, 16||Guesthouse||85|
|Sangallo Park Hotel||Strada di Vico Alto, 2||Hotel||-|
|Soggiorno Lo Stellino||Via Fiorentina, 95||Guesthouse||-|
|Villa Piccola Siena||Via Petriccio Belriguardo, 7 Via Massetana Romana, 2||Guesthouse||84|
|Villa Cennina||Strada provinciale di Celsa 195 - Località Cennina Sovicille||Guesthouse||-|
|Fullino Nero||Strada del Petriccio e Belriguardo 166-168 - SIENA||Hotel||-|
|B&B Dei Rossi||Via Stalloreggi 14/16||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B and B il Canto del Sole||Via di Villa Canina,1292 Loc. Cuna -Monteroni d'Arbia||Guesthouse||-|
|Agriturismo la Grotta di Montecchino||Via Grossetana, 87 S. Andrea a Montecchio||Guesthouse||-|
|Albergo Cannon D'Oro||Via Montanini 28||Hostel||-|
|Casa di Antonella||Via delle Terme 72||Guesthouse||93|
|Miniresidence Villa Fiorita||Viale Cavour, 75||Guesthouse||-|
|Piccolo Hotel il Palio||Piazza del Sale 19||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Alex||Via G. Gigli, 5||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Palazzo Dei Priori||Strada di Montalbuccio 31||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Castello||San Rocco a Pilli Loc. Castello||Hotel||-|
|La Residenza delle Badesse||Via della Resistenza, 67- Loc. Badesse||Hotel||-|
|Casa Vacanze B&B Santa Caterina||Sp 438 Via Lauretana Antica, Loc. Santa Caterina-Menchiari||Guesthouse||-|
|Laticastelli Country Relais||Rapolano Terme||Guesthouse||-|
|Fattoria di Corsignano||Via Tognana 4 Castelnuovo Berardena||Hotel||-|
|Residence Arianna||Via Tom Benetollo 23 Rosia||Apartment||-|
|B&B La Casa del Conte||Via Stalloreggi n.14/16||Hostel||-|
|B&B Gli Archi||strada Petriccio Belriguardo 98||GUESTHOUSE||90|
|L'Albergaccio Apartment||Strada Cassia Sud 158A - 162||Apartment||-|
|Casafrassi||Via Chiantigiana 40 Castellina in Chianti||Hotel||-|
|Palazzo Masi||Casato di Sotto 29||Guesthouse||-|
|La Loggia-Villa Gloria||Loc. Maciallina - Quercegrossa||Hotel||-|
|Agriturismo Allevamento Renaccino||Strada di Renaccio 20||Guesthouse||-|
|Casa Di Alfredo||Lelio e Fausto Socino 4||Guesthouse||78|
|B&B San Francesco||Vicolo Degli Orbachi 2||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bed & Breakfast Il Casato||Via Giovanni Duprè 126||GUESTHOUSE||87|
|Casalbergo||Viale Camillo Benso di Cavour 76||Guesthouse||-|
|Villa Luna||Strada di Marciano 34||Apartment||-|
|Villa Sole||Strada di Marciano 36||Apartment||-|
|Due Archi Apartment||Strada di Marciano 35||Apartment||-|
|Campo Regio Relais||Via della Sapienza 25||Guesthouse||-|
|Relais Borgo San Luigi||Strada della Cerreta 7 Monteriggioni||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|La Torre Di Corsanello||Strada di Radi-Corsano 3978 Q Ville di Corsano||APARTMENT||-|
|I TRE RIONI||Via Campotondo 3 Ang. Via Fiume||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Duccio di Buoninsegna||via Banchi di Sopra,6||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Villa Poggio Al Sole||Siena S. Rocco a Pilli, 3 km||APARTMENT||-|
|Casa Laura||Via Roma 3||Guesthouse||-|
|Residenze d'Epoca Coli Bizzarrini||Piazza Gramsci 27, Siena||APARTMENT||-|
|Lorenzini Rooms 2||via Aretina,158||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|I Tre Rioni||via Campotondo, 3||Guesthouse||-|
|Villa il Borghetto||Via Tufi 64||Apartment||-|
|B&B Il Corso||Banchi di Sopra, 6||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Fonti di Pescaia||strada di Pescaia, 4 via Chiarugi, 1||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B Quattro Cantoni||via San Pietro, 30||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Agriturismo La Torretta||Strada di Sant'Apollinare 6||Guesthouse||-|
|La Toraia||Località La Fratta||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Le Campane||Via delle Campane 4||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa Cecchi Siena||Strada D'Istieto 71||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|I Terzi di Siena||Via dei Termini 13||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|La Magione di Camollia||Via Camollia 179||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Case vacanza Romitorio||Via Del Romitorio, 3||Guesthouse||-|
|Piccolo Hotel Etruria||Via delle Donzelle 3||HOTEL||89|
|Casa di Roberto||Via Piave 4||GUESTHOUSE||89|
|Castello di Monteliscai||Strada Chiantigiana, 68||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Agriturismo Malafrasca||Strada Chiantigiana 109||HOTEL||-|
|Tenuta Belsedere||Località Ganghereto53020 Trequanda (SI) Siena||APARTMENT||-|
Almost all towns and cities in Italy have internet cafes. A growing number of budget hostels and nicer hotels have free Wifi. By law all public-access internet points must keep records of web sites viewed by customers, and even the customer's ID: expect to be refused access if you don't provide identification. Hotels providing Internet access are not required to record IDs if the connection is provided in the guest's room, although if the connection is offered in the main public hall then IDs are required. Publicly available wireless access without user identification is illegal, so open Wi-Fi hotspots (like the ones you might expect to find in a mall or cafée) all have some form of (generally one-time) registration.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Best advice is to buy a prepaid SIM card (from € 10 upwards) and a cheap mobile phone (€ 19 upwards) to put it in (if you don't have a cellphone already that you can use). It will be much more practical. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113 (police), 115 (fire), 118 (health) can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone.
Post Italiane is the national postal services of Italy and has quite an efficient network of postal offices and reliable postal services. Standard letters and postcards (up to 20 grams) cost €0.39 to send within Europe and the Mediterranean countries outside Europe and €0.41 to all other destinations throughout the country. Up to 50 grams, prices start at €0.52 for Europe, €0.62 for other areas. Packages start at €1.55 within Europe, and around €2.50 for other countries. Post office business hours in Italy are from 8:30am to 2:00pm from Monday to Friday, with closing times at Saturday and the last day of the month at 12 noon. In general, larger post offices in bigger cities and in tourist areas keep longer hours than those in local towns. Also note that business hours in the south might be different than the north, with longer hours at night, especially in summer! If you want to send packages you might try faster and more reliable/efficient private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
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