On Monday when we were packing to leave Rome, we decided to stop by Siena on the way home to grab lunch. We have been to Florence but never to its sister city and have heard such great things we couldn’t pass up the chance. I am so glad we decided to take the short detour!
While we were driving, I consulted my (always handy) Rick Steve’s Italy book and found a restaurant for lunch, Trattoria Papei. We also made sure we knew where to park and a few historical facts about the city. If you ever travel in Italy (or anywhere in Europe) consider bringing one of his books with you, they are an amazing resource and have led us to many wonderful memories and fewer headaches! We have taken numerous detours, such as this one, and been well prepared thanks to his books!
You can’t drive in the interior of Siena’s downtown unless you live there so we parked on the outside and walked in. What a beautiful view this city on a hill has! The entire city is still true to its medieval roots and doesn’t seem to have changed too much. The streets are narrow and winding, you could get lost strolling for hours if you wanted to.
Our lunch place was under a tent in a piazza. The staff was so kind and bubbly and the food they served was perfect and warming. We dined on wonderful Tuscan delicacies like onion soup, ribolita, Fiorentine steak, and finished it off with a little limoncello.
Afterwards, we walked to the main piazza, Piazza il Campo. It was a vast sea of bricks, slightly at an angle down towards an old church. We turned our children loose on the pigeons.
Then, we enjoyed some gelato in the piazza before slowly walking back towards the car. On the way, we found a cool park with a beautiful view of Tuscany. The kids played for a little bit while we took in one last eye-full. We will definitely go back someday to stay longer and learn more about the history of this lovely city! It was such an authentically beautiful place with a lot to offer!