Siena : Chianti wines, Palio & city getaway
Siena has the southern part of the Chianti region under her wings. The historical centre hosts the famous horse race ‘the Palio’ every single year since 1287. The Chianti wines are the best know wines of Italy, 3 tips that everyone should already know about. However there is so much more to discover in the heart of Tuscany. In our special tips we tell you all about it. A City getaways, a cultural holiday or wellness weekend in this southern part of Chianti included!
Holiday Siena: 5 tips
5 Tips to discover this province of Tuscany:
The hot springs of Siena
Did you know that the province of Siena has the most natural hot springs of Tuscany? Our favourite is still ‘Bagni di San Filippo’ . Just across the border with Grosseto is another favourite of ours: the hot springs of ‘Saturnia.’ More thermal bath tips for a ‘free spa treatment’: Bagni Vignoni, Chianciano, San Casciano dei bagni and Petrilolo, all in the middle of nature!
City getaway Siena
The city of Siena. Is it Sienna or Siena? Nowadays ‘Siena’ is correct. Every time we stroll through the medieval streets in the centre of Siena we discover something new. The Romans built a ‘small Siena’ however the Etruscans founded the ‘real Siena’. All before our era! Together with neighbour Florence, Siena is the most important tourist attraction in Tuscany. Could this be the best place to stay in Tuscany? Siena’s historical centre is an UNESCO’s World Heritage and with good reason. Make sure to visit Siena’s best museum ‘Santa maria della scala’, the ‘Duomo of Siena’ with the ‘Piccolomini library’ and ‘the house of Saint Catherine.’ The shell shaped ‘Piazza del Campo’ on July 2th and August 16th turns every year into a stage for the famous ‘Palio of Siena.’ On this most famous square of Siena the ‘Palazzo pubblico’ with it’s ‘Civic museum’ and ‘Torre del Mangia’ is the midpoint.
Siena’s history has been enriched because of ‘the battle’ with Florence for the Chianti area. The Chianti wine region is the largest wine area in Italy. Worth fighting for we’d say! The DOCG wine label of the wines is the highest qualification that a wine can receive. These wines are for 80 upto 100% made from the Sangiovese grape. The Chianti Classico wines can be recognised by their ‘Gallo Nero’ logo. The Gallo Nero label is a confirmation that the wine producer is affiliated with the consortium of Chianti classic wine producers. This qualification should not be confused with the DOCG quality label. Not only the Chianti area is amazing to discover. The valley named ‘Val d’Orcia’ with it’s rolling hills is a dream for nature lovers and photographers.
Combine your holiday – cultural holiday & walking holiday
Must sees in the Siena province include San Gimignano (Unesco world heritage site), Monteriggioni, Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano, Abbey of San Galgano and abbey di Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Both San Galgano and Monte Oliveto Maggiore are magnificent monasteries situated in the middle of green nature. The famous pilgrim route ‘Via Francegina’, crosses right trough these amazing cultural treasures. A dream for the passionate hiker. Did you know that the famous painter from the 14th century Ambrogio lorenzetti was born in Siena?
Food and wine
Every May, the town of ‘Celle sul Rigo’ hosts the ‘pici festival.’ Pici is a thick kind of spaghetti, home made method “artigianale”. The pasta is served with ‘Chingiale’ (wild boar) sauce. This pasta finds it’s origine in the ‘Crete Senesi’, the southern region of Siena. Then we have the tasty sweets ‘Panforte’ (sweet round gingerbread) and ‘ricciarelli’ (almond biscuits) that are made in this part of Tuscany. We now ask the attention of all wine lovers! In this area not only Chianti wines buto also Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines are produced. In addition we have to mention the exceptional white wine ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano.’
How to get to Siena
By plane Florence airport would be best, also Perugia airport is an option. In combination with visiting Roma, also Roma Fiumicino can be an option. The city centre of Siena is easily reached by train. To discover The Chianti area, the wine villages and the hot springs we recommend to rent a car.