Tuscany is made for daytrips and spontaneous jaunts through the countryside and there is no better place to stop than arguably the most famous of the hilltop villages, Siena.
When J and I arrived, we took our agriturismo owner’s advice and headed straight to the Basilica di San Francesco, the often overlooked church on the outskirts of the city. Upon entering, after our eyes adjusted, we took in the simple the cavernous interior only to discover that its walls were adorned with faded century old frescoes, each telling intricate stories. We continued through into the courtyard where beautiful pine trees whistled in the wind and walked beneath the cloisters of the courtyard.
We couldn’t believe that there were still sculpture fragments from the 1300’s.
Heading into the center of town, it wasn’t long before we came across the Consorzio Agrario di Siena, the most incredible luxury market that you could spend hours wandering around.
With all local products from wine and cheese to salami and bread stacked from the floor to the ceiling, it was a foodies' paradise!
After devouring delicious panini we decided to head back in for seconds, this time slices of pizza were calling our name.
It was time to experience the most iconic element of any daytrip to Siena, the Il Campo.
This unique piazza is in the shape of a fan and known for its annual bareback horse race, Palio di Siena. Instantly, you are struck by the huge slant of the piazza but it only helps to take in the elegance of its architecture. The surrounding buildings are as stunning as its turquoise water feature, the Fonte Gaia.
The Pubblico Palace and Tower of Mangia border the southern side of the piazza and are unmistakable images of Siena, the latter providing the perfect birds-eye view of the city and surrounding Tuscan hills.
We ventured further south to the Piazza Mercato and were so pleased to find some of the most Tuscan scenes we had come across on our travels through the region.
Last on our list was the Duomo di Siena, a truly remarkable building of the most beautiful marble. There are often long lines to visit this monument so ensure you leave enough time as the façade is only the start of its beauty.
Within, you will find an intricate mosaic floors, a golden dome and stained glass windows all worth discovering.
With a delicious dinner awaiting us at our agriturismo, it was time to head back to our little fiat and onto the Tuscan roads.
Xx The Strawberry Story