Deep in the heart of Tuscany lies one of Italy’s most beautiful and best preserved medieval towns. Resting upon three hills, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, the impressive walled city of Siena, dating back to 30AD, is teeming with art history, vibrant culture, and impressive examples of what some consider the peak of Italian Gothic architecture.
Winding alleyways and steep steps weave the town together as you meander your way past ornate fountains and bustling market squares, right to the unique city center, il Piazza del Campo. Shaped like a scalloped edged shell, il Campo is home to the annual palio horse races held each summer on July 2 and August 16. Sit in the famous piazza as you take it all in, the varied sensory splendors of the city from the cultural landmarks of the great Duomo and The St Maria della Scalla to the smell of fresh brick oven pizza. While the sun slowly sets, and the students trickle out into the night air, you realize you don’t want to leave quite yet. Luckily, while Siena is both a treasure trove of history and art, it’s also a college town, home to the University of Siena – one of the oldest European universities dating back to 1240. And where there are students, there are affordable hostels.
To fully appreciate and explore all the wonders Siena and the surrounding Tuscan countryside holds, it’s advised to spend a few days here, especially since the city is both a logical and affordable base for excursions to some of the other charming nearby towns and villages in the famous wine region.
So here are a few accommodation suggestions to get you started. And check out sites like Hostels.com (http://www.hostels.com) and Hostelbookers.com (http://www.hostelbookers.com) for other suggestions complete with user reviews and pictures.
Address: via del Porrione,91, 53100, Siena, Italy
Contact: +39 349 52525 773 website: http://www.residenceparadisotoscana.eu/index_en.html#
Price: Private rooms from US$29.00/person (approx 20 euros). *Price may vary by season
About: Seven minutes from the main bus station, located about 100 meters off the main square, il Piazza del Campo, in the heart of Siena’s historic center, you’ll find the MiniResidence Ciompi tucked away in a 17th century building. This family business consists of 10 quiet rooms, each containing a sink, and some with a full private bath. The hostel has 4 toilets to share and 6 communal showers with hot and cold water 24 hours a day. Major credit cards are accepted, and there’s no curfew in case the infectious city’s spirit has you out till dawn.
Please note, though, that prices may vary by season, so check before booking.
use of kitchen
2 sitting rooms with TV
Youth Hostel Guidoriccio
Address: Via Fiorentina, 89, 53100, Siena, Italy
Price: Beds from US$29.00 a night (approx 20 euros)
About: The hostel is a modern, comfortable building about 3 km outside of Siena’s city centre. It’s comprised of small rooms with either 2 or 3 beds and one dormitory style room with 8 beds. There’s a recreation/tv hall with tables and chairs. Please note, Youth Hostel Guidoricc is not part of the Hostelling International association of Hostels in Italy.
Albergo La Perla
Address: Via Delle Terme N. 25, Piazza Indipendenza 25, Siena
Contact: +39 0577 47144; email@example.com
Price: Beds from 30 euros a night; approx US$42.00
About: The Albergo La Perla hostel has 13 single, double, and triple rooms, all with private bathroom and shower. The bedrooms are on the second floor of a medieval palace with panoramic views of “Pulcino Tower”, “Saint Caterina Monastery”, and the city’s red tiled roofs. La Perla is nestled in Indipendenza square, in the historical centre of Siena, about 50 meters to “Piazza del Campo”. Please note, during the “palio races” period of July 2 and Aug. 16 reservations are for a minimum of four nights, including the night of the palio. Major credit cards are accepted, and it’s light’s out whenever you want, no curfew.
In room Air Conditioning
24 hour reception