A weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy

To read more about this trip visit my posts on TalamoneViareggioMontalcino and a Wedding in Siena!

After a day in Talamone we headed to Siena, which was to be our base for the next few days – as it was the venue for Mylene & Tommaso’s wedding.

We drove the hour and a half to get there and parked up in a car park on the outskirts of the city (cars aren’t allowed to enter the Old Town so you have to park outside – it’s not cheap, €2 an hour (and we were going to be there 3days!!) but there are lots of free spaces on the road.  Unfortunately they were all full but we managed to move the car the next day to a free spot so the fee wasn’t that bad!)

We had a couple of hours before we were due to meet our AirBnB host to get the keys to our apartment so we headed into town to look around and grab some lunch.

Siena is on the top of a hill so all the roads up to the town are quite steep – not so great when you’re dragging a suitcase – but it wasn’t far and soon we were in the heart of the city.

Siena is a fairly small city with fantastic views over the area.  The buildings are all very old and the streets very narrow so there’s not much light that gets in but that adds to the romantic feel of the place.  We wandered around, getting a feel for the city but soon our stomachs told us that it was time to stop for lunch.

We knew we weren’t going to be eating until after the wedding that evening so we decided to grab a quick lunch in a cute little Trattoria, Ristorante Da Renzo in a square down one of the back streets that we just happened to come across.  For lunch I ordered the melon and Parma ham and Dan went for the Pizza.  Both were great and filled us up so that our stomachs wouldn’t be rumbling throughout the ceremony.

And they had diet coke in a pink can!! Love it!

A Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & ExploresWith lunch finished, we headed to meet our AirBnb host and get the keys to our flat.  The flat was a very sweet little studio flat, right on Via Fontebrande and very central – a 2minute walk to Piazza di Campo – the main square.

A Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & Explores
This was the street that we were living on in Siena – so close to everything!  That’s the Basilica San Domenico up on the hill in the background.

We had a quick change into our smarter clothes and then it was time for the wedding of Mylene to Tommaso which you can read all about here.

The next morning we woke up and had the whole day ahead of us to explore Siena. We decided to start back in the Piazza di Campo (where the wedding ceremony took place) to have a coffee and get out bearings.

A Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & Explores
The Palazzo in the Piazza di Campo where the wedding was held

We wandered around, down all the back streets, getting more of a feel for the place. Siena itself is pretty small and I definitely think you could do it in a day.  The streets around the Piazza di Campo are the main touristy ones with plenty of shops and cafes, but we headed off the beaten track a bit to try to find somewhere where locals eat their lunch.A Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & Explores

A Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & Explores
Siena Streets!

However, by the time we were hungry most of the places that weren’t touristy had shut for lunch.  We managed to find one place, Trattoria la Tellina which said that if we chose and ate quickly they’d serve us

I ordered the Parma ham and Pecorino and a tomato salad while Dan had pasta with bacon and tomatoes.  I have to say it wasn’t my favourite meal that I ate in Siena.  The ham was a bit dry but the tomato salad was absolutely delicious – why do tomatoes always taste fabulous everywhere except England?  We ate quickly and headed back out to look around some more.

Suddenly the heavens opened and we began to get absolutely drenched.  Sheltering in a doorway we made a plan to head to the nearest bar and dived into Campagnia dei Vinattieri  and found a little gem!  It was a gorgeous underground restaurant with vaulted ceiling and old stonework and if we hadn’t only got one night in Siena for dinner (and already picked the restaurant) I would definitely have come back for a meal.  We ordered a glass of red wine each and it came with the most amazing and the most amazing tomato jelly.  It tasted just like a gazpacho, spicy and garlicky but with a jellyish texture – I absolutely loved it and am definitely going to be trying to re-create it at some point.A Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & ExploresWith the rain still pouring outside we dashed across the road, straight into another bar.  We ordered another glass of wine (to wait out the rain – it seemed like all we would be seeing of Siena was the inside of bars and restaurants!) in Da Trombicche.  A really cute, authentic Italian Trattoria full of locals and serving fabulous cuts of meat and local wine.  We went for the house Chianti and a plate of prosciutto and watched the world go by for an hour or so until the rain let-up a bit.

Then it was time to hurry back to the apartment as we had to get changed for the evening’s festivities.  We were going to Borgo di Poneta, a fabulous little village in the Tuscan Hills, 20 mins out of Siena that the wedding party had rented (yes, the whole village!) to stay in.  There was a final farewell dinner going on there to re-connect with everyone after the wedding which had been the day before.

It was raining hard again so we ran through the streets of Siena, getting absolutely soaked, to meet our friends to share a taxi to the party.  There’ll be a blog post about the party to come shortly!

A Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & Explores
The view of the Basilica San Domenico at night walking back to our apartment! Absolutely stunning!

The next morning the skies were blue (Finally!!) and we’d decided to spend today exploring the Tuscan Hills by doing some wine tasting in Montalcino, as Brunello is both of our favourite kind of wine.  You can read all about our trip here.

Having spent a lovely day in Montalcino we headed back into Siena for aperitivo and our last dinner there.

I’d read up on the best places to have aperitivo in Siena so, armed with a list, we set out for the first bar Liberamente Osteria, which just happened to be back in Piazza di Campo. We were a bit sceptical as most of the restaurants on the Piazza were very touristy, but this one had had good reviews so we decided to give it a go.

A Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & Explores
Aperol Spritz and Aperitivo

We had an Aperol Spritz as the sun set over the Piazza which was absolutely beautiful and the Aperitif was absolutely delicious – I especially loved the fresh mozzarella knots but the frittata was pretty amazing too.

We headed to one more bar before dinner, Osteria La Chiaccera and ordered two glasses of wine, (his and hers – but mine was the red and his was the white).  It was only house wine but at €2 a glass you can’t really go wrong.  It was so nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy people watching after yesterday’s rain forced us inside all day.

Then we headed to Osteria Le Logge for dinner which had been recommended to us by people in Talamone and our AirBnB host. It certainly looked the part.  Housed in a very old building but with an extremely modern kitchen, we’d been promised a fantastic culinary experience with amazing wine.

We ordered a pretty expensive bottle of Brunello (as if we hadn’t had enough already that day) from the vineyard of the family that owned the restaurant.  We were actually slightly disappointed with it as it wasn’t a patch on some of the ones that we’d tasted and bought that afternoon.

To start with I ordered courgette stuffed with burrata in a tomato sauce and Dan went for the cod croquettes.  Mine was delicious – the tomato sauce tasted so fresh and the burrata was melt-in-your-mouth creamy.  I definitely went for the best option, Dan’s cod croquettes were not that tasty – more potato and batter than fish.

We both decided on the slow-cooked lamb as a main course which was deliciously tender and fell apart but we left feeling a bit disappointed – for a fairly expensive meal we hadn’t felt like we got great value for money.  Everyone we met had raved about this restaurant but we didn’t find it to be anything particularly special at all.

We wandered back to the apartment for an early night so that we could get up and out early the next morning and head to Viareggio on the beach – our last destination.

Pin it for laterA Weekend in Siena, Tuscany, Italy by Emma Eats & Explores

To read more about this trip visit my posts on Talamone, Viareggio, Montalcino and a Wedding in Siena!

For great accommodation in Siena click here!

49 Comments Add yours

  1. muchohucho says:

    I found that many restaurants people rava about to be let downs in Italy.
    I would like to go to Siena again because when I did there were so many people there or you could hardly even move up and down the alleyways and forget even getting a spot to sit in the square, there waa some event going on and it was just really bad timing but it was very unenjoyable unfortunately. However the Duomo was really the highlight of my trip to Italy

    1. I agree totally – I prefer to find my own places most of the time than go on other’s recommendations!

  2. asoulwindow says:

    I feel like sipping on some wine after reading all that, haha!. Sienna Sounds like an easy going place where one can have a relaxing holiday!

  3. Ankita says:

    Sienna sounds absolutely smashing. Would love to explore it.
    PS. All the food pictures are making me hungry.

  4. Ankita says:

    What a lovely place! Would love to explore Siena.
    PS. All the amazing food pictures are making me hungry!!

  5. LocalNomads says:

    So what’s the best time to visit Siena to avoid the crowds? I loved all of your food shots, the tomato jelly seems like an interesting unique idea! That aperitivo has me drooling for some cheese and bread!

    1. We went in September and there were no crowds – but the weather was very changeable. Sunny and hot one minute and then downpours the next!!

  6. Luca says:

    You just made my mouth water! Siena is for sure a lovely, little city, mostly famous for the Palio, but also the cathedral with its inlaid marble mosaic floor it’s worth the visit! That’s probably why I’ve never focused on the food, next time I go I’ll turn my attentions to what restaurants have to offer! 😀

    1. We had some great food – just avoid the highly recommended places – they always disappoint!!

      1. Luca says:

        And, like Gandalf says: “When in doubt, always follow your nose”. I’ll keep both tips handy! 😀

  7. I’ve visited Siena twice on day trips and both times I’ve been frustrated because I’d wanted to spend more time there, wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere. A day trip is too rushed for me! I love the central square but the restaurants are very expensive and definitely cater towards tourist crowds. That cathedral is one of the most stunning I’ve ever been to.

  8. sudiptode says:

    Really love the setup of your blog. This is totally new. Siena sounds like a place to relax and perfect for Slow Tourism. How much did you accomodation cost you?

  9. foreverfernweh1 says:

    Oh I long for the day where I can literally eat my way through Italy! Your photos of all that bread and wine are making me wish it was happening tomorrow.

  10. I Love Paars by: Lee says:

    A Pink Coke?? Really?
    Italy has been fave place of Philippines celebrity and A-list. Its definitely a lovely city and Im sure the pizza there is great

  11. Gareth says:

    The town certainly looks quieter than I would have imagined it although perhaps a a different time of the year, it would be far more crowded. That being said, the lack of people really did help with your photos and that pink coco cola is super-fun! The food looks spectacularly and I can honestly say, I’ve never had better food than I did in Tuscany

  12. ehsanhaque24 says:

    Incredible photography. I have a friend who lives in Tuscany, will be visiting him early next year. Italy is highest on my list on my countries to see on this upcoming Eurotrip 🙂

  13. wanderlustyleblog says:

    Wow…. just wow!!! Everything looks amazing! The food, views, everything! Thank you so much for sharing your weekend in Italy!

  14. Lindon Lee says:

    Whoa! A visit in Siena, Tuscany could transform me into a foodie! Lovely takes around the streets. You really had spent a great weekend there. Definitely enjoyed this.

  15. Looks like a day well spent.. Sienna streets look cosy and inviting.. And the pink coke was something i never imagined i would ever see..

  16. eostories says:

    I laughed a bit at your remark about the tomatoes! I have never ask anyone in England what they think about their tomatoes but I found them extremely tasteless. Anyway, back on the main point – Italy and Siena and the Italian food that we all love so much. Pizza and pasta every day would be my choice. The underground restaurant sounds pretty amazing! Actually all the food you’ve mentioned does sound mouth watering.

  17. hairtothereblog2 says:

    We should probably be friends. This is how you canvas a city- one glass of wine at a time! If there is a better way to pass time during a rain storm, I have yet to discover it! After reading this i’m reminded I owe Italy another visit!

    1. Most of my write ups involve a glass of wine…or two! ??

  18. What a lovely weekend. Tuscany is on list, and we can’t wait to go. It didn’t look too busy either, which is a plus.

  19. travellingslacker says:

    Wow what a picturesque setting! Your photos are great although I’d lke to see bigger images of these beautful places.
    Also really surprised to see the pink coke can. I thought they never change their design.

  20. Ah, Sienna. Lovely city in Italy. Too bad I have only been to Venezia and Verona, but planning to correct that soon. I really love aperol spritz in there. basically the only thing I like to drink, but hey, that pink Coke is so funny as well!

  21. Mansi Kamdar says:

    I loved Tuscany. While we are our way through it, I wish we’d also spent some more time wine tasting. Discovering a place through all the different tastes is what I love best as well!

  22. Siena looks so lovely. The town standing at the top of a hill with steep roads has an old world charm. Hope to get there some day, the last time we were in Italy we covered Florence and Pisa, hope to get to the other parts of Tuscany soon.

  23. Alex says:

    Awsome architecture. When is the Palio di Siena?

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      Not when I was there unfortunately – its twice a year, In July and then August. I’d love to see it though!

  24. Momma To Go says:

    I cannot wait to get to Italy next month and eat all the things! I was in Siena in 97 and love the piazza del campo!

  25. roseclearfield says:

    I would love to visit someday! Fabulous food and stunning architecture, what more do you need?

  26. Five for the Road says:

    The food looks amazing! I love that you can’t have cars in the town. It must have felt like another world! How fun!

  27. Mummy Matters says:

    Oh I loved this post. At our wedding we named all of the tables after the places in Italy we wanted to visit and Siena was one of those places. For our honeymoon we went to Venice and then onto Sorrento. I really hope one day to travel to Italy again with our family to tick a few more beauties off our list.

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      Me too, I can’t get enough of the country, Recently I’ve done Siena, Florence, Pisa and Puglia but I’m desperate to visit Rome, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Verona! Hope you get there soon!

  28. Hi There! says:

    Since I don’t get to travel much anymore, I’m living vicariously through your posts. The photos on this one are gorgeous. And I’m dying for a pink diet coke. 🙂

  29. deannalexis says:

    I’ve been to Italy, but not to Siena. How beautiful!!

  30. Shane says:

    Ah, the landscape, food and wine of Sienna looks amazing! Wish I made it past Florence to experience this beautiful city.

  31. Kerry Norris says:

    It looks fantastic there. My mouth is watering looking at the mozzarella x

  32. ChelseaMamma says:

    We fell in love with tuscany when we visited last summer.Would love to explore some more

  33. Kim says:

    Ahh I want to visit Tuscany so bad! Seems like you had such a fun trip 🙂

  34. Tuscany is such a beautiful place, I have been to Italy twice but keep missing it each time. Your post is inspiring me.

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