#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena Italy. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena Italy. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

View across Siena rooftops from our hotel room window. Swoon! Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena Italy. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Details from our hotel room in Siena. I think I now want an elaborate upholstered bed head. Seriously, who am I turning into? Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena Italy. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena Italy. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

One of the function spaces inside the 17th century palazzo that houses the Grant Hotel Siena. Ummm, wow! Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena Italy. Photo by Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace
Oh hi there. That’s us, make up free (at least I am) straight after a 30hr journey. I mean, it ain’t no glamour shot, but we look pretty fkn fresh faced for a couple of oldies, and I give full credit to Cathay Pacific for taking such good care of us during and between the flights. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Before our annual pilgrimage to Milan(trace) for Salone del Mobile & Design Week, Nick and I spent blissful 36 hours in Siena. It was our first time in this picturesque little city, which proved to be a perfect start to our very busy time in Italy. We flew from Sydney to Milan with , and from there we hopped onto a train to Florence, then to Siena. Easy peasy.

As one of the famous Italian cities, and one of the most beautiful in Tuscany, Siena rivals Florence for Renaissance palazzi and art treasures. And while it also takes a bit of a beating by the tourists, it definitely doesn’t come even close to Florence in this regard, particularly in late March when we were there.

Surrounded by olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti, Siena is set on three hills surrounded by a grand wall. The historic city is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, drawn together by winding alleyways and steep steps, with the famous Piazza del Campo located at its heart. The Campo is considered to be Europe’s finest medieval square, also the scene of the famous Palio horse race, Italy’s most dramatic historical spectacle (held on July 2 and August 16 each year.)

One of the loveliest things about Siena is its compact size – the historical city is super walkable so easy to get around. It’s the sort of place you can head to without having too much of an agenda or a plan, without worrying you’ll miss out on the best bits. This suited us to a T, given that what followed (ahem – MILANTRACE!) was busy, intense and carefully planned within an inch of its life.

 

Related Posts:
#YellowtraceTravels: Rome, Italy.
#YellowtraceTravels: Florence, Italy.
See all other #YELLOWTRACETRAVELS posts.

 

Tourismandhotels travelled to Italy courtesy of Cathay Pacific, who fly to Italy several times each week. Cathay’s great connections from Australia allow getting from Sydney to Milan in under 24 hours, including transit times. For more information visit .

 

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Majestic ruins around the Siena Cathedral. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

 Siena Cathedral. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
 Siena Cathedral. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Siena streets. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Back streets of Siena. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Piazza del Campo at sunset. The Campo is Europe’s finest medieval square, also the scene of the famous Palio horse race. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Details from Piazza del Campo. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Smallest ever bar terrace facing Piazza del Campo. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The magic of Piazza del Campo at sunset. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Pretty stoked with myself (still in my flying outfit!), and Nick aka Team Spritz in top form during aperitivo numero uno at Morbido. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Below is a list of places we stumbled upon and loved during our 36 hour stay. By the way, we literally did zero research or planning ahead of our stay (apart from choosing the hotel). Perfect, if you ask me.

STAY
We stayed at Siena’s only five-star hotel, the 51-room . The hotel occupies a historic 17th-century palazzo – once a home of a wealthy local family – and is perfectly located for exploring the city, particularly if you’re there for only a short amount of time like we were. The hotel is lovely, service is super friendly verging on almost creepy, and rooms and suites vary considerably – the best ones have remarkable frescoes or magnificent views over the city rooftops (if the budget permits, I highly recommend the latter).
, Via Banchi di Sopra, 85

LUNCH
Just off the Campo is , offering creative takes on Tuscan classics. This place has a seriously beautiful dining room – old school Italian style, but just so very pretty. Best to book, and make sure you specify you wish to sit in the main dining room (don’t accept a table upstairs.) You’re welcome.
, Via del Porrione, 33

GELATO
La Vecchia Latteria rocks! We found this place by accident, but it’s modest frontage, old-school signage and a long line with just the locals was enough to convince us we were at the right place. And it was amaze-balls – delicious, fresh, no frills, no bull, and seriously well priced. La Vecchia prides itself on using the freshest and most natural ingredients, meaning new ice cream flavours are made daily, so you never quite know what deliciousness to expect. Must try.
La Vecchia Latteria, Via San Pietro, 10

APERITIVO
Have an aperitif on the Campo. Basically every single place here offers the same beautiful view facing the tower, although the locals flock to Bar Il Palio. But do not, under any circumstance, eat anywhere on the Campo. This is the golden rule in Italy in general. Fine to have an overpriced beverage facing ‘insert famous monument here’, but never ever eat there. The food will, without fail, be average, underwhelming and overpriced. No thanks.
Bar Il Palio, Piazza del Campo, 47

Because aperitivo is super important (and also my favourite), here’s another place to try.  is located on one of the “main streets”, and almost next door to Grand Hotel Continental (if you’re staying there). This place is a deli, also famed for it’s excellent-value basement lunch, and a pretty excellent aperitivo buffet (6-10pm Fri & Sat) with your choice of drink. Which, for me, is always Aperol Sprits. Naturally.
, Via Banchi di Sopra 75

DINNER
We weren’t particularly hungry when we arrived (having breakfast of champions, lunch, gelato and aperitivo will do that to you!). Plus, it turned out this place was, almost exclusively, catering to tourists (which I personally find to be a major turn off. I know – I’m weird). A great start this was not, however  was off the charts delicious. Naturally, we ate three courses anyway, and drank wine like it was going out of fashion, but if you go here you’ll know what I mean – the food is to die for and the service on point. This restaurant hasn’t made the Michelin guide for nothing.
, Via Duprè, 132

If you want to dress up for dinner, try , which offers a lovely space to dine at. Although we didn’t get to try it ourselves, the restaurant and the menu looked great, and I gathered it was pretty excellent.
, Vicolo di Provenzano, 1-7

 

Related Posts:
#YellowtraceTravels: Rome, Italy.
#YellowtraceTravels: Florence, Italy.
See all other #YELLOWTRACETRAVELS posts.

 

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Piazza Salimbeni is a prominent square in central Siena, notable for still housing the offices of one of the first banking houses in Europe. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Bricktastic excellence at the entrance of  the 14th-century neo-Gothic Palazzo Salimbeni. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Fantastic Views from the hill next to Basilica di San Domenico (also known as Basilica Cateriniana). The church itself dates back to early 1200s, and is an imposing building built entirely from bricks. Mind boggling. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Siena rooftops. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Details from Siena. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Incredible setting of Siena university, adjacent to Basilica di San Francesco. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Stunning courtyard of Siena university (Università di Siena). Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Steep Siena streets. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Little architectural moment in Siena. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Siena cathedral. I mean, seriously. Go there to catch the afternoon light. It’s magic! And how about all that delicious marble that looks like musk sticks and liquorice? Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
#YellowtraceTravels: Postcards From Siena. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Siena rooftops and Piazza del Campo at sunset. Magic. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Tourismandhotels travelled to Italy courtesy of Cathay Pacific, who fly to Italy several times each week. Cathay’s great connections from Australia allow getting from Sydney to Milan in under 24 hours, including transit times. For more information visit .

 


[Photography © Nick Hughes & Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.]

 


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About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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    Leatrice Eiseman

    Your site has become a go-to for us. It is beautifully curated and full of interesting design concepts. I especially love any color-related stories, but, I would as I am majorly into color as the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training. i have visited Australia twice while on book tours and giving presentations on color and love your beautiful country (and the people!)

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