Siena

Siena is a medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tuscany.

Artviva: The Original and Best Walking Tours
Average Rating:   4.9
out of 5 stars
   Based on 91 Ratings.

On 2017/06/08
Eddie Wong said:
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Ishmael is Excellent

Ishmael led us on a fascinating food tour in and around the famed Mercado in Florence. After sampling tasty pizza dough poppers and lattes, we ventured into the indoor central market (mercado) and met several family owned businesses that sold olive oil, cheese, and other goodies. I'm not a huge foodie but enjoyed the food and learning about the process of aging olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We also had a full lunch at a local restaurant with delicious pasta and oxtail. I can't say enough superlatives about Ishmael. He is knowledgeable, personable and attentive. I would love to invite him over for dinner in San Francisco so that we can continue our conversations about food, music and art. There's so much more than food on a tour with Ishmael. Peace and blessing on to you. Ciao, Florence. We will return.

On 2017/06/04
Marita said:
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Artviva guides set a high standard

I booked Artviva's Original Florence Walk for 5 people and the Uffizi and David tours for three people. Our Artviva guides lived up to their reputation for being extremely knowledgeable about the city and its many wonders and their ability to transmit it all in flawless English was amazing. We really could not have wished for more. It was also great to spread this tour package over three days -- more time to take in all the interesting stories that we were offered. Special thanks to Barbara and Brenda for sharing their passion.

On 2017/05/24
Kathy Harris said:
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Florence walking tour

During a recent visit to Florence I was on a small group walking tour called "Sites and Statues" with tour guide Brenda. It was a delight spending the time with Brenda as she shared her stories and her knowledge of her beloved Florence. Thanks ArtViva for sharing Brenda with us!

On 2017/05/02
John Aldeborgh said:
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Just A Fantastic Tour

We took the tour of the Uffizi Gallery on April 22nd with Loredana as our guide. Just an outstanding way to see the museum as you get the opportunity to merge the art with the history of Florence and the Medici family history. If you love art history and the renaissance then Florence and the Uffizi have to be on your bucket list. Loredana is an outstanding guide, she is very personable and a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on both the art in the gallery as well as history of Florence and the renaissance. A great way to spend an afternoon.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:
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We were a group of 6 that had taken 4 tours in Florence and loved all of them. This tour in Rome was significantly different. This tour is not for the faint of heart. It is crowded and loud and tiring. I would never do it again even though our tour guide, Rosie, was great.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:
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Elisabetta gave us the two hour tour at the Uffizi Gallery. She was an EXCELLENT tour guide. We had a group of 6 and she held all of our attention. I would highly recommend this tour and this tour guide.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:
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We loved our tour to visit the David with Claas. It is only an hour long, and it is a MUST if visiting Florence. The only issue was that it was crowded and Claas did not hold his microphone up to his mouth, but pinned it on his shirt. There was a lot of background noise, walking to the tour, and inside the building. I would highly recommend he talk slower and hold his microphone to make the tour even better. I would highly recommend this.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:
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Our family of 6 spent the day visiting Tuscany with Stefan. We had a glorious day. Stefan was knowledgeable and fun...we learned so much. I highly recommend this tour! Couldn't have been better!

On 2016/11/04
Tasha said:
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BEST way to see Rome

My husband and I were on our honeymoon and booked the "Original Rome Walk" for a Monday afternoon on Halloween; it ended up being a private tour with our guide Sylvie and it was FANTASTIC! She was super knowledgeable and funny, and took the time to answer my husband's multiple questions. The tour itself was also great - I would highly recommend this to anyone visiting Rome!

On 2016/11/02
Dawn Everidge said:
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Tour of a lifetime

My friend and I took the Genius of Michelangelo Tour by Artviva and it was absolutely brilliant, the highlight of our time in Florence!! We cannot recommend it enough!! Our tour guide was fabulous, a riveting former art history professor, who brought The Renaissance to life for us as he guided us through Florence. His stories pulled us back to the Florence known to Michelangelo and his contemporaries. The crowds disappeared for us as we were transported through time and were guided to Michelangelo's well-known and lesser known works. Ultimately the masses literally parted for us, momentarily, as we realized the dream of a lifetime, seeing his masterpiece, The David. It was the tour of a lifetime that we never wanted to end!

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The first inhabitants of Siena were the Etruscan Saina tribespeople arriving sometime around 9-400 BC. Their building of defensive forts with great vantage points established the tradition of hilltop towns.

Several centuries later, during the reign of Augustus that spanned from 27 BC- 14 AD, the Romans declared the town Saena Julia.

It is likely that this is how the symbol of Rome also became that of Siena – a wolf nursing Remus and Romulus, statues of which can be found scattered throughout Siena.

Many centuries passed before Siena came to prosper and then, only once it had been conquered by the Lombards who rendered Siena a centre of trade and thus a popular pilgrim trail. The location of Siena avoided many of the more popular roads that were susceptible to attacks and theft on the way to Rome.

The rule of the Lombards came to a bloody end in the late 700s, when power fell to Charlemagne, King of the Franks. Many of his fellow countrymen flocked to Siena, where they integrated well with the locals and contributed to the construction particularly of abbeys.

Eventually this rule also came to an end and in the late 1000s, the Republic of Siena was established.

In the 1200s, the site of the signature shell-shaped Piazza del Campo was used as a market. Later in the century, the Palazzo Pubblico (town hall) went up, together with its tower, Torre del Mangia. Today, climbing to the top awards some fantastic views over the splendid Tuscan countryside in the surrounds.

Also during the period of the Republic, the gothic Siena Cathedral - Il Duomo - was completed. Whilst projected to be the grandest cathedral in the world, funds were exhausted and the result is a stunning, albeit it smaller version than that initially planned.

Various famous artworks are held within the Siena Cathedral, including by Donatello, Ghiberti, Ghirlandaio, Pisano, di Speme and della Quercia.

Many other churches and even a synagogue also went up.

The Republic of Siena lasted until Spain, with the aid of the Duchy of Florence, overpowered the territory in 1555, albeit it after a bit of a struggle to do so.

To pay their significant debts, the Spanish gave Siena to the Medici family and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It was only the unification of Italy in 1861 that bought this tenure to an end.

The University of Siena, founded in 1240, established this Tuscan town as a great centre of learning, particularly for medicine and law.

Throughout its history, Siena has proven an important financial hub, being home to Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, founded in 1472 and today the world’s oldest bank still in existence.

 

On a lighter and more musical note, Siena is also home to its own conservatory of music, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, founded in the 1932 and the Siena Jazz School.

Whilst Siena in general is one of the most visited towns in Italy, it is never so popular as throughout the period of its two famous and historic “Palio” horse races that take  place in the Piazza del Campo.

In English, Siena is occasionally spelt Sienna.

€ 154.00

The Best of Tuscany Tour

Savour the sights, smells and tastes of the region on this visit to three captivating hilltop towns. Our small-group expeditions, led by fabulous local guides, also offer a delicious lunch and wine tasting at a traditional estate.
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€ 149.00

My Exclusive Best of Tuscany Tour

Experience the beauty and authenticity of Italy’s most beloved region. Enjoy a full-day’s exploration of this stunning landscape during a visit that is professionally tailored for you.  Take in breathtaking views complete with the tapestry of vineyards and shimmering olive groves. This truly authentic experience will lead you through amazing medieval hilltop towns to explore the beautiful frescoes that adorn the walls of many of the local churches. Afterwards, sample some regional wines during lunch at one of the nearby traditional Tuscan estates. 
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€ 20.00

The Best of Siena Tour

Explore one of Italy’s most charming hilltop towns, with a true local authority on the area. This 3-hour walking adventure will introduce you to the history of the famous annual ‘Palio’ horse race as well as the mystery and intrigue of the town’s tales of murder and scandal. Also enjoy the opportunity to see Siena’s stunning collection of beautiful religious relics, artefacts and architecture.
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€ 32.50

From Florence City Centre to Siena

Relax and take in the splendid Tuscany views on your way from Florence to Siena.
A private transfer from the Florence city centre to the charming Tuscan town of Siena.
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