The former Republic of Siena is one of the highlights of Italy, declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. One of the country’s most important tourist destination, it is renowned for its art, history, gastronomy and the famous Palio, a horse race held in Piazza del Campo on the 2nd of July and 16th of August.
Park your car outside the old town, because it’s forbidden to drive through it unless you’re a resident or have a special permission.
You can’t miss the cathedral, with its mosaic floors recently restored. Inside the cathedral look for Piccolomini Library and you will be amazed with sixteenth century golden frescoes.
My choice for a nice and casual lunch is Antica Salumeria Salvini (Strada Statale 73, Ponente 46), outside the old town but worth the visit. Cold cuts made the old way, all natural and non-processed. The owner and butcher will tell you all you want to know about the delicacies of the Antipasto Toscano. There is a small gourmet shop in the restaurant so you can take home a piece of Tuscan gastronomy.
Return to the old town and have a coffee at Nannini (Via Banchi di Sopra, 24), the most famous cafeteria and pastry shop in Siena. My choice are cavallucci: pastries made with anise, almonds, candied fruits, coriander, and flour… to die for!