Warmer weather IS actually going to stick around one of these days, and when it does, we’ll be prepared! While wandering the alleyways of Siena, bounded by the medieval buildings and Gothic architecture that define its character, we want to be able to gain perspective on exactly where we were and will be (allowing ourselves to be) lost within the city. Instead of using a map to decipher where exactly you are within Siena’s 17 contrade (districts), it’s best to understand it from the top – above (and on) Siena’s Tuscan rooftops. Put down the map. Now wander yourself to one of these three outdoor rooftop spots where panoramic views await you (and your cameras, of course).
Siena Cathedral: Roof tour now open!
Open to the public for the first time in the spring of 2013, passages to the rooftop of the 13th-century Siena Cathedral offer views of the red-tiled Tuscan roofs and Siena’s city and countryside charm. While going up for maintenance purposes, the Cathedral staff discovered the magnificence of the view and decided to make it more accessible. The journey (or workout) to the top is not for everyone, though! You have to be willing and able to climb the series of spiral staircases and internal walkways to reach the breathtaking rooftop views, otherwise the ascent alone may be too breathtaking! Visitors must reserve tickets in advance.
Hotel Villa Elda
This three-star hotel sits atop a hill just outside of Siena’s city center, which is about a ten minute walk to Piazza del Campo. The serenity of the Villa and its ideal location make the stay at the Hotel delightful. Even if you’re not staying here, it is worthwhile to wander up to the rooftop terrace where it is possible to experience a 360-degree scenic view of Siena and the Tuscan setting.
Palazzo delle Papesse
Address: Via di Città 126 Town Centre near Piazza del Duomo
Phone: 0577 2 20 71
Price: adult/child €5/free
Hours: 12:00-19:00 Tue-Sun
Built between 1460 and 1495, Palazzo delle Papesse is a contemporary art gallery within medieval walls that offers both permanent and changing contemporary exhibitions. The rooftop of Palazzo delle Papesse presents a 360 degree panoramic view, overlooking Siena and the nearby surroundings. The second floor also contains a terrace, which opens to a view of the Duomo and Siena rooftops.