Julie Italy 17 Comments

Siena is easy to visit if you only have one day since it is a compact city with just a few big sites. With one day in Siena, visit the Duomo, get one of the best views in Italy from the Torre del Mangia, wander the historic old town, and dine at one of many fine restaurants.

Located just an hour and a half south of Florence, many people visit Siena on a day trip from Florence. However, if you spend one night here, you can enjoy Siena at sunset and wander the streets once the day-trippers leave. Here is how to have one perfect day in Siena.

An Overview of Siena

Siena is located in Tuscany, 75 km south of Florence. It is the largest of the hill towns that are scattered among the region here.

Siena is famous for its large square, called Piazza del Campo, winding medieval streets, and the Palio, a historic horse race that takes place twice during the summer months.

During your visit to Siena, you will spend most of your time in and around Piazza del Campo, the heart of Siena.

Below is a map of Siena, with the main sights you will visit on this itinerary.

One Day in Siena: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (points of interest and the walking route). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Best Things to Do with One Day in Siena

Below is a list of the top places to visit if you have one day in Siena. This list of sites is relatively short, which also gives you plenty of time to stroll the city streets, do a little shopping, and have lunch and dinner at some wonderful restaurants.

  • The Siena Cathedral and the Siena Duomo Complex. This complex includes the cathedral, the Piccolomini Library, the crypt, the baptistery, the Panorama from the Unfinished Façade (the Facciatone), the Cathedral Museum, and the Gate of Heaven.
  • Piazza del Campo
  • Palazzo Pubblico
  • Torre del Mangia
  • Santa Maria della Scala
  • Basilica of San Domenico

Two Important Things to Know about this Siena Itinerary

#1 Turning this into a Half Day Itinerary

If you have limited time, or like the idea with combining Siena with another nearby Tuscan town, you can condense this itinerary into a half day visit. I’ll let you know how to do this later in this guide.

#2 Avoiding Lines and Getting Your Tickets

The most likely place you will be stuck waiting in line is for the Panorama of the Unfinished Façade of the Siena Duomo Complex. A limited number of people are permitted on these terraces at a time, so the line moves very slowly, even if it doesn’t look very long. The Panorama opens at 10 am and to avoid this line, plan on getting to the Cathedral Museum just before opening time or visit later in the day (mid to late afternoon).

However, if you also want to climb the Torre del Mangia, you will have to purchase your ticket early in the day. Tickets for the tower are only sold at the ticket office and tend to sell out by early afternoon. To make sure you get one, plan on getting to the ticket office no later than noon.

If you want to climb Torre del Mangia and visit the Panorama, you can do one of two things. You can go right to the Panorama first, tour the Siena Cathedral and related sights (this all takes about 2 hours if you move fast), then get your tickets for Torre del Mangia, hoping they still have some for sale. Or, option #2, purchase your tickets for the Torre del Mangia at 10 am, when the ticket office opens, then go to the Siena Cathedral and wait in line for the Panorama.

#2 is the safer option. If you have a full day in Siena, spending a half an hour in line for the Panorama may not sound like fun, but you have the time to do it. I have written the itinerary below using option #2, since it guarantees that you can do both Torre del Mangia and the Panorama.

One Day in Siena Itinerary

Overview of this itinerary:

9:30 am: Breakfast
10:00 am: Purchase tickets for Torre del Mangia
10:15 am: Siena Duomo Complex
1:15 pm: Lunch
2:30 pm: Palazzo Pubblico & Torre del Mangia
4:00 pm: Historic center of Siena
7:00 pm: Dinner

9:30 am: Breakfast

Siena is the town where my love affair with espresso and cappuccino began. Small coffee shops dot the city streets in abundance here. You can take your pick from one of the many coffee shops in town, or start off at Pasticceria Nannini Conca D’Oro on 24 Via Banchi di Sopra, a pastry and coffee shop located just a short walk from Piazza del Campo.

If you are arriving in Siena by bus, it is just a 7-minute walk from the bus station at Piazza Antonio Gramsci along Via Banchi di Sopra.

10:00 am: Torre del Mangia Tickets

If you plan to climb Torre del Mangia (we highly recommend it for the views!), go to Palazzo Pubblico to purchase your tickets. The ticket office opens at 10 am (confirm hours here). If you also like the idea of visiting the Civic Museum (inside of Palazzo Pubblico) and Santa Maria della Scala, you can purchase a combination ticket.

From Palazzo Pubblico, it is a 5-minute walk to the Siena Cathedral.

Palazzo Pubblico Ticket Office | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Palazzo Pubblico ticket office

10:15 am: Siena Cathedral & the Siena Duomo Complex

Italy is filled with gorgeous cathedrals and the Siena Cathedral, aka the Duomo di Siena, is one of the best. This church is striped with white and black marble both inside and out, giving it a unique, almost surprising appearance.

Siena Cathedral | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Siena Cathedral | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Like many churches in Europe, it took hundreds of years to build the cathedral. Work began in 1196 and over the next 200 years, additions and ornate facades were added to the cathedral.

In 1339, construction began to add another massive addition to the cathedral, but arrival of the Black Death in 1348 halted all further construction on the cathedral. This “unfinished façade of the New Cathedral” remains and walking on these terraces is one of the best things to do in Siena.

Facciatone Siena Cathedral

The Facciatone, also called the Panorama from the Unfinished Facade

The Siena Cathedral is part of the Monument Complex of the Cathedral. This “complex” includes the Siena Cathedral and associated sites, including the crypt, the baptistery, the museum, the Piccolomini Library, the Oratory of San Bernardino, the Gate of Heaven, and the Panorama from the Unfinished Façade (the Facciatone).

It takes 2 to 3 hours to visit everything on this list, with the exception of the Oratory of San Bernardino, which is located on the opposite side of Siena.

We have a Guide to the Siena Cathedral, which includes photos and more information about each of these sites and how to visit them.

Below is an itinerary for the Siena Cathedral with some information about each place to visit.

Everything listed below is included on the Porta del Cielo ticket for the Siena Cathedral. We recommend purchasing this ticket several weeks in advance (although even more time is better) since they are limited. When you purchase this ticket, you will also make a reservation for a time slot for the Gate of Heaven. For this Siena Itinerary, a 12:00 pm or 12:30 pm time slot works well (be aware that on Sundays the cathedral does not open until 1:30 pm).

10:15 am: Panorama from the New Cathedral

With one day in Siena, I recommend starting with the Panorama of the New Cathedral (also called the Facciatone and the Unfinished Façade). Only a limited number of people can visit the terrace at a time, so there is usually a long, slow-moving line to do this.

To avoid spending a long time in this line, go first to the Cathedral Museum as soon as possible (opening time is generally at 10 am but hours vary by season and day of the week, get updated hours here) and go right to the upper level, to get in line for the Panorama.

On a visit to the Panorama, you will visit two levels. Here are the views.

Siena Italy from Facciatone | One Day in Siena Itinerary

View from the first level of the Facciatone | One Day in Siena Itinerary


Best Views of Siena

The view of Palazzo Pubblico from the second level


Siena Cathedral Dome | One Day in Siena Itinerary

The view of the Siena Cathedral from the second level

10:45 am: Cathedral Museum

After the Panorama, visit the exhibits inside of the Cathedral Museum.

This museum contains a lot of the original works of art that were made for the Siena Cathedral. On this list are the stained-glass Rose Window by Duccio di Buoninsegna, sculptures by Pisano and Donatello, the altarpiece by Duccio di Buoninsegna, and the Treasury.

Siena Cathedral Museum

The Rose Window | One Day in Siena Itinerary

11:15 am: Baptistery

The Baptistery is located on the back side of the Siena Cathedral. The interior of the Baptistery is covered with beautiful frescoes. Donatello, Giovanni di Turino, Lorenzo Ghiberti, and Jacopo della Quercia all contributed to the creation of the Baptismal font.

11:25 am: Crypt

The Crypt is an area of the complex that was recently excavated. The frescoes in the crypt were painted in the 12th century and tell stories from the Old and New Testaments.

The Crypt is very small and a visit here lasts 5 to 10 minutes. Entrance into the Crypt is located on the right side of the Siena Cathedral, just a few steps from the entrance into the Cathedral Museum.

11:30 am: Siena Cathedral and Piccolomini Museum

Enter one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Italy.

A visit inside of the cathedral lasts about 30 minutes since there is so much here to see. Again, take a look at our Guide to the Siena Cathedral for more information, but important things to see include the Piccolomini Library, the amazing mosaic floors, the pulpit that was sculpted by Nicola Pisano, and sculptures by Donatello, Michelangelo, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Duomo di Siena | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Inside the Siena Cathedral | One Day in Siena Itinerary

 Siena Cathedral Dome Photo | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Dome of the Siena Cathedral | One Day in Siena Itinerary


Piccolomini Library Siena

Piccolomini Library | One Day in Siena Itinerary

12:00 pm: Gate of Heaven (Porta del Cielo)

The Gate of Heaven is a guided tour of the roof and terraces of the Siena Cathedral. It’s one of the best things to do at the Siena Cathedral, since you get to tour “hidden” areas of the cathedral and get unique views of the nave.

This tour takes 25 minutes from start to finish.

Siena Cathedral Nave

View of the nave on the Gate of Heaven tour


The Gate of Heaven Walkway

Outdoor walkway


The Gate of Heaven View of Siena | One Day in Siena Itinerary

The view of Siena on the Gate of Heaven tour | One Day in Siena Itinerary

To take the Gate of Heaven Tour, you will need to purchase a Porta del Cielo ticket. When you purchase this ticket, you will reserve your time slot in advance. This is a popular activity and we recommend reserving your time slot several weeks in advance, although even more time is better, since this is a popular thing to do in Siena.

Tickets for the Siena Cathedral

There are three ticket types for the Siena Cathedral. The Porta del Cielo ticket covers all of the sites mentioned. If you have no desire to take the Gate of Heaven Tour, then purchase the Opa Si Pass, which includes everything except the Gate of Heaven tour. Finally, the Cathedral Ticket is the cheapest option, but this just gets you into the Siena Cathedral and Piccolomini Library. For more information about these tickets, pricing, and hours of the sites, visit the official website.

1:15 pm: Lunch

There are two places we recommend for lunch.

The first is Osteria da Divo. This is a fine dining restaurant that is located inside of Etruscan tombs. It is just a short walk from the Siena Cathedral. See the menu and get hours here. This also makes a great place to have dinner.

You can also have lunch on Piazza del Campo. Normally, it’s best to avoid the main squares for lunch and dinner. The food tends to be overpriced and mediocre. In this case, we still recommend it because the setting is phenomenal. Keep in mind that these restaurants are more about the view than the food.

On Il Campo, here are two places to try:

  • San Paolo Pub. This small pub-style restaurant serves pizza, paninis, and pasta. Get a seat in the balcony and enjoy the view.
  • Il Bandierino. This restaurant serves pizza and pasta at affordable prices.

Piazza del Campo Siena | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Piazza del Campo & Palazzo Pubblico | One Day in Siena Itinerary

2:30 pm: Palazzo Pubblico & Torre del Mangia

Palazzo Pubblico, also called the town hall, is the seat of Siena’s government. This medieval building was constructed in 1297 and it sits on Piazza del Campo.

The inner courtyard of Palazzo Pubblico is free to visit. From here, you can enter the Civic Museum and climb Torre del Mangia.

Palazzo Pubblico Siena

Inner courtyard of Palazzo Pubblico

Many of the rooms inside of Palazzo Pubblico are covered with frescoes, which you can see on a visit to the Civic Museum. Highlights include seeing the frescoes in Sala dei Nove (the Hall of Nine) and Sala del Mappamondo (the Hall of the Globe).

Torre del Mangia (the Tower of Mangia) is the tall, skinny tower rising up from Palazzo Pubblico.

Palazzo Pubblico Siena | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia

From the top of Torre del Mangia, you get a breathtaking view over Siena. But be prepared to do some work to get here. It is over 400 steps to the top and there is no elevator.

Best things to do in Siena Italy

The view of the Siena Cathedral | One Day in Siena Itinerary


Piazza del Campo View

Looking down on Piazza del Campo | One Day in Siena Itinerary


Torre del Mangia View

Another view from Torre del Mangia | One Day in Siena Itinerary


Siena View

Basilica of San Domenico | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Tickets for Torre del Mangia & Palazzo Pubblico

Tickets: This has already been stated, but tickets cannot be purchased online in advance. You will need to visit the ticket office, which is located in the courtyard of Palazzo Pubblico. Tickets sell out by early afternoon during the busier months (May through September), so go early in the day to purchase your tickets, even if you don’t plan to do this until later in the day.
Cost: €10 for Torre del Mangia; Torre del Mangia + Civic Museum €15; Torre del Mangia + Civic Museum + Santa Maria della Scala €20
Hours: Hours vary by season but it is generally open from 10 am to 1:45 pm and 2:30 pm to 7 pm. Get updated hours on the official website.
Website: Get updated pricing and hours on the official website.

Italy Travel Guide Rome

4:00 pm: Historic Center of Siena

Spend the next few hours exploring the historic heart of Siena. The city center is pedestrian only, making this city a joy to wander through. We love wandering the streets of Siena. As you stroll through the city, you’ll pass by smaller squares, small churches, cafes, shops, and restaurants.

Siena Itinerary

Siena Street

Via di Città is one of the main streets that runs parallel to the outside of Piazza del Campo. This street is also one of the best places to go shopping in Siena.

You also have the option to add on two more notable places in Siena.

Santa Maria della Scala

Santa Maria della Scala was one of Europe’s first hospitals. It has been converted into a museum. Frescoes from the 14th century cover some of the walls and you can see chapels, relics, and sculptures within the 10,000 square meters of space this complex of museums inhabits. Santa Maria della Scala is located in front of the Siena Cathedral.

Santa Maria della Scala

Frescoes in Santa Maria della Scala | One Day in Siena Itinerary

A visit here can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your interests.

For hours and pricing, visit the official website.

Basilica of San Domenico

The Basilica of San Domenico, also known as Basilica Cateriniana, originally dates back to the mid-13th century but has been enlarged several times. Inside are several relics of St. Catherine of Siena. St. Catherine was canonized as a saint in 1461 by Pope Pius II and was declared a patron saint of Italy in 1939 by Pope Pius XII.

This church is located just west of the historic city Siena, about a 7-minute walk from Piazza del Campo. It is free to visit and you can get opening hours on the official website.

7 pm: Dinner in Siena

End your day with dinner and drinks. Consider one more stroll through the streets of Siena to end the day.

Most of the better restaurants are not located near Piazza del Campo, so you will have to walk a short distance to get to some of these places, but it is worth it.

La Taverna di San Giuseppe. This restaurant offers excellent Italian food, a massive wine list, and impeccable service. This is a favorite of the locals and this restaurant has even received one Michelin star. Closed Sundays.

Antica Osteria da Divo. This is a fine dining restaurant that also is a favorite in Siena. A portion of the dining area fills Etruscan tombs dating back over 2000 years ago. It is located near the Duomo. Closed Tuesdays.

Gino Cacino di Angelo. If you are looking for a budget restaurant that serves great food, this is a nice option. This wine bar and restaurant serves paninis and cheese and meat platters. This is another favorite local spot so expect Italian menus and Italian speaking staff. Note: they close at 8 pm.

Osteria de Divo Siena

Osteria de Divo | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Half Day in Siena Itinerary

If you only have a half day in Siena (for example, you are on a day trip from Florence and you are visiting two or more Tuscan hill towns), there are three must-see sights in Siena: Piazza del Campo, the Siena Cathedral, and if you don’t mind the hefty stair climb, the view from the top of the Torre del Mangia.

Because of the way the tickets work for Torre del Mangia, if  you can, plan your visit to Siena in the morning.

In 3 hours, you can climb the Torre del Mangia (this takes about 45 minutes), visit a few sites of the Siena Duomo Complex (the interior of the Cathedral, the Piccolomini Library, and the Panorama from the Unfinished Facade all get my vote), and spend a few minutes in Piazza del Campo. For something unique, do the Gate of Heaven tour, but this ticket must be reserved in advance.

The Palio

The Palio is a horse race that is held every year on July 2 and August 16. Ten horses and riders compete, each representing their contrada, or neighborhood. Each contrada has its own colors and mascots, which you can see hanging on flags as you walk through the historic city center.

The race is held in Il Campo. It only lasts 90 seconds, as the horse and riders make 3 frenetic laps around the square. People gather on grandstands and in the center of Il Campo. It is a thrilling thing to witness if you are in town during one of these races.

Learn more about The Palio on the Discover Tuscany website.

Best Time to Go to Siena

In general, spring and fall are the best times of the year to visit Siena. During this time, the weather is great for sightseeing and crowds tend to be lower than the busy summer months. But here is a breakdown by season of what you can expect in Siena:

WINTER: It’s cold in Siena during the winter months. Daytime high’s average around 10°C (50°F) and it can get down close to freezing at night. Rainfall is about average for the year (averaging about 6 days of rain per month in December, January, and February), but the skies tend to be cloudier in the winter months.

SPRING: As the weather warms up in the spring, rain chances also go up. Rain chances go up slightly in the spring, but it is not quite as rainy as the fall months. In early spring, the high temperature is 18°C (64°F) and it continues to get warmer week by week, reaching an average high of 27°C (80°F) by June.

SUMMER: Expect the biggest crowds of the year and hot weather during the summer months. Daily high temperatures average 31°C (85°F) but they can easily get up to 35°C (95°F). Rainfall is low.

FALL: In early fall, crowds can still be high, not really quieting down until early October. Daytime high’s range from 25°C (77°F) in early fall and cooling off to 13°C (56°F) by late fall. Autumn is the wettest time to visit Siena (mid-October through late November), so bring an umbrella if you plan to be here at this time.

VERDICT: The best time to visit Siena is May through mid-June. The weather is nice and crowds are manageable. If you don’t mind the chance of rain, the end of September into October is also a nice time to visit, since crowds are lower.

We have visited Siena twice. On our first visit, we spent five days in Siena in July. Temperatures were in the 80’s (27 – 30°C) but it was not unbearable. Every day at 3 pm a thunderstorm would roll through, cooling things down and washing away the crowds, at least for a little bit.

On our second visit, we spent two days in Siena at the end of September. We had overcast skies and rain and temperatures were cool. Rain is more likely in the fall than summer, but temperatures are more pleasant and crowds are generally lower.

Siena Italy Photo

Palazzo Pubblico | One Day in Siena Itinerary


Where to Stay

LUXURY: Hotel Athena. This is a 4-star hotel on a stunning property and it is just a 10-minute walk to Il Campo and the Duomo. From their terrace you will have a wonderful view of Siena and Tuscany. If you are traveling by car, this hotel is a great option because they offer free parking.

MID-RANGE: Residenza D’Epoca Palazzo Piccolomini. This is where we stayed on our most recent visit to Siena. Our apartment was enormous and had a very nice view of Basilica di San Francesco. Take your pick between 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. These apartments come with a washing machine and small kitchen. It’s a great choice for families or those traveling long term and need to do some laundry.

MID-RANGE: Palazzo Ravizza. This 3-star hotel is located within the historic city center of Siena. Palazzo Ravizza also offers a garden with a terrace overlooking the hills of Tuscany.

BUDGET: Hotel Italia. This is another 3-star hotel but with its location near the train station, and outside of the heart of Siena, it comes with a lower price. This is a boutique hotel offering 65 rooms that gets rave reviews. It’s a 20-minute walk to Il Campo but it is located conveniently near the train station.

How to Get to Siena

From Florence

To get between Florence and Siena, your best bet is the bus (not the train). Buses are cheaper and faster. From the bus station in Florence (near the Santa Maria Novella train station), take the direct bus to Siena. The journey takes about one hour and fifteen minutes. Do not take the local bus because it makes more stops along the way for a total time of 2 hours. You will arrive in Siena at Piazza Gramsci, the main bus terminal.

Buses leave 2 to 3 times per hour and you can buy your bus ticket at the station just before boarding the bus.

If you have a rental car, it takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to drive to Siena.

From Rome

By Train. There are no direct trains between Rome and Siena. Most likely you will have to transfer in Chiusi. Tickets range from €18 to €50 and the journey can take between 3 and 5 hours.

By Bus. The travel time averages 3.5 hours and tickets cost roughly €23. It is a slight savings over the train, and in most cases, you will arrive in Siena at about the same time. So, it’s more of a personal preference if you travel by train or by bus.
Parking in Siena

Parking in Siena

The city center of Siena is pedestrian only. If you have a hotel in the historic city center, you will have to park outside of town and then walk to your hotel. There are numerous parking lots located around the outskirts of Siena. Your hotel may have parking at one of these lots or should be able to assist you as to the most convenient lot.

On our most recent visit to Siena, we stayed near the on the north side of the city center at Residenza D’Epoca Palazzo Piccolomini. We parked at Parcheggio San Francesco, rode the series of escalators up to the Basilica di San Francesco, and walked to our hotel. This took about 15-minutes one-way.

Tours of Siena

If you prefer to day trip to Siena with a guide, and include a few more places in Tuscany, here are several highly rated tours to consider.



Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do you need in Siena?

In order to see the main sights in Siena, you will need one full day. This gives you enough time to tour the Siena duomo complex, explore the city center, visit Palazzo Pubblico and climb to the top of Torre del Mangia, visit Santa Maria della Scala, and have lunch and/or dinner in town.

If you have less time (for example, you are on a quick day trip from Florence or another town in Tuscany), essential things to do in just a few hours include the views from Torre del Mangia, a visit to the Siena Cathedral, and some time walking through the historic heart of Siena.

Is Siena worth visiting?

Siena is one of our favorite towns, not only in Tuscany but all of Italy. Visiting the Siena Cathedral, which is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, is a big highlight, as is enjoying the view from the top of the Tower of Mangia, having a cup of coffee or aperitif in Piazza del Campo, and wandering the medieval streets of the historic city center.

What are the best places to visit in Siena?

The best things to do in Siena include the Siena Cathedral and its related sites, (including the Piccolomini Library, Gate of Heaven tour, and views from the Panorama), climbing the Torre del Mangia for one of the best views of Tuscany, strolling through the historic city center, and spending some time in Piazza del Campo.

Siena Cathedral

The view of the Siena Cathedral from Torre del Mangia | One Day in Siena Itinerary

Where are You Going Next?

Here is more information about Florence and Tuscany to help you plan your trip.

SIENA: Plan your visit to Siena with our articles Best Things to Do in Siena and How to Visit the Siena Cathedral.

FLORENCE: For a list of things to do, take a look at our Florence Bucket List and learn how to plan your time with our One Day Florence Itinerary and 2 Day Florence Itinerary. We also have information about how to visit the Florence Cathedral, about the best rooftop bars in Florence, and the best viewpoints in Florence.

DAY TRIPS FROM FLORENCE: Here are 15 day trips to take from Florence, with practical information on how to plan your day.

TUSCANY: Get started with our guide to the Best Things to Do in Tuscany. Learn how to plan your visit with our Tuscany Itinerary, which has sample itineraries, whether you have 3 days, 5 days, or an entire week in Tuscany.

TUSCAN HILL TOWNS: Check out our detailed guides to Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, San Quirico d’Orcia, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Lucca, Volterra, Arezzo, and Cortona. 

If you have any questions about this one day in Siena itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about Italy:

BEST OF ITALY: In our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy.

ROME: For a list of the top experiences in Rome, read our article Best Things to Do in Rome. Learn how to put these together in our 2 Day Rome Itinerary. And don’t miss our guides to the Best Views of Rome, best Rooftop Bars in Rome, and our Rome Restaurant Guide.

ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Italy. We also have a detailed 10 day itinerary that includes Rome, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and Venice. For those with more time, check out our 14 day Italy itinerary, which covers the highlights of Italy.

UMBRIA: In our article Best Things to Do in Assisi, we cover the top experiences to have, plus where to eat and where to stay. In our One Day in Assisi Itinerary, we have a detailed walking tour of the historic city center. And don’t miss our guide to the Best Things to Do in Orvieto.

DOLOMITES: In our article Best Hikes in the Dolomites, we cover 15 epic trails in the Dolomites. Which ones do you want to do?

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.


One Perfect Day in Siena Italy

One Day Itinerary Siena Italy 

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Comments 17

  1. Avatar for Susie Lawless
    Susie Lawless

    My husband and I will be ending a cruise in Rome in February 18. I’d like to visit Assisi and Siena while we’re close. We’ve traveled in Italy but missed these 2 cities so far. I’m not finding day trips in February. I know it’s February and these towns will be open, but I’m not sure if we should just plan for a different post cruise experience.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Since it is the off season, tours may not be running in February. You could rent a car and do it on your own. From Rome, drive to Assisi, see the town, and spend the night. The next day, spend the morning in Assisi and then drive to Siena. Spend the next day in Siena and on the following day return to Rome to fly home. Or, you could do this in the opposite order. ALternatively, you could save these cities for a future trip to Italy, when the weather is warmer and more tours are running. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Romana

    Thank you for such a great itinerary! My family followed your suggestions for Siena in a day and it was absolutely perfect. We also had lunch at one of your restaurant recommendations. The monument pass that included the tour of the gates was great.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  3. Avatar for Julie Zinger
    Julie Zinger

    Hello again, I follow your family to plan my vacations! I need a bit of help. I’m having a heck of a time finding the direct bus from Florence to Siena. The 131R makes multiple stops from Autostazione Firenze, on the AT bus line. The only direct bus I can find is on the MarinoBus out of Florence station Villa Costanza. I’m staying near the main station. If you could provide the link for the direct bus, it would be SO appreciated. Have spent hours and hours trying to figure this out.


    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      You may have seen this article but it covers how to get from Florence to Siena by bus. I am fairly certain we took bus 131R when we did this in 2014. We showed up at the bus/train station, purchased our tickets right before boarding the bus. Here is the most updated timetable I can find online. If you will be arriving in Florence by train, you could also check the bus schedules here, to get the most updated information. The Villa Costanza bus may not save you anytime. It will be a hassle to get there and take at least 15 minutes, which then is the same amount of time as the 131R bus. Buses can be challenging in Italy, as you can see, since it is hard just to find the schedules online. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Peter A Rasey
    Peter A Rasey

    Thank you for the great post. I recently went to Siena and followed your itinerary for the most part. The Duomo was amazing as the floors were uncovered in this period. We went to the tower in the Museo dell’opera, so we avoided the tower in the Civic Palace. It was just as satisfying, although the line was long and we weren’t quite sure what we were waiting for.
    San Paolo pub was cute and affordable.
    The only miss was Santa Maria della Scala, which was a rather confusing museum, although the famous medicine-themed mosaics were cool. Only if you have multiple days.

    Thanks again!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  5. Avatar for Nora

    Hi! Just wanted to say I’m planning a trip to Italy and your website has been a big help. I love how all the photos in the articles are yours and some of them even feature your family. Really gives the guide a personal touch. Cheers

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  6. Avatar for Kathy

    Hi Julie,
    Your website has been instrumental in our planning for an upcoming trip to Italy with our pre-teens. (At least hopefully upcoming. I am on my third round of planning due to Covid cancellations).
    Do you have any recommendations for drivers for day trips out of Florence? Also, can you provide any rough cost estimates based on your previous experience? (I understand costs may have changed).

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Kathy. I don’t have specific driver recommendations for day trips, but if you have a hotel booked, the hotel staff might be able to make recommendations for you. As for cost estimates for renting a car, that’s tough to answer (it depends on the car size, day of the week, etc). You can get an estimate on Autoeurope.com. I don’t know how much a private driver would cost, but it will most likely be more expensive than renting a car. Another option is to take a tour from Florence like this one offered by GetYourGuide. But if you want to drive around and see the small towns like we did, renting a car is your best option, in my opinion. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Isabelle

    Wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion to stay on for a night after the daytrippers leave. The place really comes into its own then and shows a whole different side. I don’t think I’ll ever forget rounding the corner of the Duomo without another soul in sight, and seeing it illuminated in the twilight…Siena is a very special city!

  8. Avatar for Arpana

    Hi Julie,
    First of all Thanks a lot for detailed description about places which actually helped me plan my Italy trip itinerary.I am trying to follow ur Classic itinerary plan.Just have confusion regarding Florence Tuscany part.I have also read your blog on 10 things to do in Florence.,so my question Is it possible to fit those 10 to see in one day ???awhere do I fit Siena part .do I keep it on second day n then move 3rd day to Tuscany visiting San Gimignano other hill towns.?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Arpana. It’s almost impossible to fit all 10 things in Florence into one day. So, for the Classic itinerary, you have to decide how much time you want to give Florence and how much time to spend in Tuscany. If you take an early train to Florence from Rome, you will have the majority of the first day to explore Florence. This is just enough time to see a few big sites, but if you want to see everything in Florence, you will have to add another full day. That gives you just one day for a day trip into Tuscany…so you can visit Siena or take a tour/rent a car and visit several hill towns. Alternatively, if you would rather spend more time in Tuscany, just fit in what you can on the first day in Florence and then 2 days in Tuscany. Of course, if you really love the idea of spending more time in Florence or Tuscany, you can take out the Cinque Terre or Venice. Hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Renie

    Hi. Our daughter is studying in Bologna and we plan to visit November 15-26 . Was there a few years when kids were little. Flying to Milan. Thinking one night. Want to visit Florence and Venice though saw kids don’t remember; possibly Lido Beach, Verona and Siena. Will return to Bologna to see where daughter is studying. The flying out of Milan She’s got a break and want to travel with her as well. Well rent car from Milan. Loved Cinque Terre and Civita de Bagnoreggio- a hidden gem , last trip. Want some off beaten recommendations as well as good dining and shopping. Love to see Tuscany and possibly Lake Cuomo or Capri. Traveling with17 year old and 21. Thank you. Renie

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Sounds like you have some great spots picked out. If you want to go off-the-beaten-path you could consider adding in San Marino. With your timing, I’d skip Capri since that is so far away from everything else you are visiting and I really don’t know how nice it will be at the end of November. Sounds like it would be a great trip to tour through northern Italy only going as far south as Tuscany. There are tons of great small towns to visit in Tuscany and a few days to road trip through the wine country here would be great. Siena makes a nice home base. There is also a cool day trip from Verona to see the Madonna della Corona. We aren’t big shoppers but I know that Milan is a good place to go. For restaurant recommendations, I don’t have any specific recommendations but you could check out Trip Advisor for the towns you visit. Cheers, Julie

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