Two walking tours
off the main tourist track
Sometimes you just want to wander and explore in a carefree way, not necessarily seeking out historical monuments but catching a peek at something special and unique. These are two of my favorite paths to follow when I am in the mood to be surprised by the beauty and uniqueness of Siena. Below you will find a description of the roads I follow, and at the end of the article is a map with more details.
Blue track: San Francesco and La Fortezza (2 km)
This walk takes you to the church of San Francesco and to La Fortezza.
From Piazza del Campo, take Via Banchi di Sopra uphill, turn right at Piazza Tolomei and follow the street as it curves and then turn left and then right onto Via del Giglio. Turn left onto Salvani Provenzano and then right onto Via dei Rossi, which will take you to the church of San Francesco. You should enter the church as it is beautiful. There is also a path around the church, which give some great views!
Take the same street back and continue on the charming street Via dei Rossi. After about 200 meters look right and you will see the lady behind the curtain (the relief on the wall shown above). When you reach the main street again turn right, pass Piazza Salimbeni where Monte dei Paschi di Siena – one of the oldest banks in the world – is located. Turn left and pass Consorzio Agrario, a high quality supermarket with local products (you can read more about it here), continue right at Piazza Giacomo Matteotti where the post office is located. Cross Piazza Gramsci and turn left at Viale Cesare Maccari towards La Fortezza. At the entrance of the fortress turn right and take the walk around La Fortezza on top of the walls, this will give you some nice views.
Orange track: Orti dei Tolomei and great views (2 km)
This walk will take you to the small park Orti dei Tolomei and to the outskirt of the city center where you will have breathtaking views of the Tuscan hills.
From Piazza del Campo follow Via Giovanni Dupre, a very charming narrow street with local bars, pasticcerias and other small stores. When you reach the end you will see the Fountain of Contrada de la Onda with a dolphin in the middle. Turn right onto Via Sant’Agata and then immediately left again following the signs for parking “Il Campo”. Take the path going right which will take you to Orti Dei Tolomei, a nice park with grass, benches and a climbing frame for children.
Take the same path back and enjoy the views of Siena. Turn left onto Sant’ Agata and continue straight for a while then turn left at Via della Diana and then right at Via Ettore Bastianini, where you will have breathtaking views of the Tuscan hills. You can also see the city wall below on your left. At the end turn right and then take Via Stalloreggi back toward the Campo. To get away from the main crowded street, turn right at Casato di Sopra and then left at Casato di Sotto, which leads back to the Campo.
Follow the Map
The suggestions above are mapped out below, to make it even easy for you to find your way around. I encourage you to take your time and don't hesitate to go beyond the blue and orange lines to discover your own special corner of Siena.