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 102 Ratings.

On 2017/11/02
Thomas Wilson said:
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Art Viva's reputation is richly deserved. And Angelo is one of the best tour guides I've ever witnessed. Our evening walk of the Oltrarno district and The Original Florence Walk the next day were extraordinary in their depth, historical perspectives, contexts, interesting stories, and his warm delivery. He loves this city. Now we do too. Thanks Angelo. Sincerely, Thomas and Taffi Wilson

On 2017/10/20
Keith and Sue Ferguson said:
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We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 tours with Hilde and Tatianna.

We signed up for the day of three tours; Original Florence, Uffizi and David. It was a long day but our guides made it a special experience. We would heartily recommend the tours to others visiting Florence. Our guides knowledge, passion and stories will be remembered long after our return home.

On 2017/09/10
Kim said:
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Best Tours Ever

It was our very first trip to Italy, so my husband and I decided to book tours with ArtViva based on Rick Steves' recommendation. We took the Accademia tour with Ingrid, the Uffizi tour with Klaus, and the Original Florence tour with Tatiana. Each guide was a joy to be with. They were all both extremely knowledgeable about their subjects and were enthusiastic about presenting it. I learned so much about the amazing Florentine art and architecture. It was worth every penny. I would highly recommend ArtViva's tours to everyone!

On 2017/08/31
E said:
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Fantastic walking tour with Hilde. I would recommend it to everyone visiting Florence.

On 2017/08/03
Stephanie said:
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Fantastic Experience!

We took four tours through Artviva, three from Florence and one from Venice--all excellent! We took this tour the next day from Florence, and it was the perfect half-day to get a glimpse of the Tuscan wine country without committing an entire day (we had Florence sightseeing in the morning, wine country in the afternoon). Vito was our tour guide and driver, and he was so much fun. With the group, we got a chance to chat with folks from all over the world, and the collegiality was equally as enjoyable as the estate, wine, and olive oils we tasted when we arrived at the estate. We tried the fares, learned about the history of the estate and wine in Tuscany in general, and then took a tour of the property. Both the wine-making facilities and the private home of the Lord and Lady were open for us to tour. It was incredible! And there was even a rare piece of World War I history too (you'll have to visit to find out)! Truly, a terrific experience.

On 2017/08/03
Stephanie said:
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Fantastic Experience

We took four tours through Artviva, three from Florence and one from Venice. They were each outstanding. Your Own Cinque Terre (private tour): on our last day in Florence, we took a one day private trip to three of the five villages in Cinque Terre. Elenora was our tour guide all day, and our driver was Massimo. Both were fantastic! Elenora especially made our tour truly an experience we will never forget. She's brilliant, easy going, and full of interesting information about the cities and their histories. She even gave us an overview of the towns we traveled through on the drive to the coast. She escorted us through the train system, around the cute and winding cobblestone streets, and even to a fantastic family-owned restaurant for some seafood pasta and wine from the region. It was like having an old friend show you around her hometown. I cannot recommend this tour enough. The sights (!!), the food, the tour guide (seriously, ask for Elenora!)... all were lovely.

On 2017/08/03
Stephanie said:
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Fantastic Experience!

We took four tours through Artviva, three from Florence and one from Venice. They were each outstanding. Smart, friendly, adept tour guides led us around. And, friendly, helpful office staff helped us navigate the booking process (even before we arrived, they helped me process the booking and coordinate with meet-up locations all via email in advance). Original Florence Walk & David Tour (private tour): Corrina was our tour guide, and she was a real joy. She met us in our hotel lobby (super convenient!) and gave us a terrific tour of Florence, emphasizing its architecture, culture, history, and the daily lives of Florentines throughout the centuries. It was capped off by a visit to the David, and arriving with a tour meant that we were able to skip that incredibly LONG LINE. It was the perfect way to become acquainted with the city, and I highly recommend making this your first tour in Florence. Be

On 2017/07/18
Kathy said:
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We were touring with our 17-year-old grandson. The "Off the Beaten Path" tour with Shannon was the best we had I Italy and his favorite too. To see things that are not crowded with other tourists and so unique was a nice change from the "usual." Other tours with Artiva were excellent as well with very knowledgeable guides who seemed to be able to answer every question, even from a teenager who was anxious to know "everything." Thank you, Shannon and Artiva

On 2017/07/14
Joe Fisher said:
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Thank You, Elisabetta!

We enjoyed our wonderful day with you in Firenze. Thank you for your knowledge, humor, guidance, and keeping us in the shade! Your love of Firenze is obvious. The five Elizabeths, and the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed this unique experience and would recommend it to anyone!

On 2017/07/08
Jennifer said:
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Made Florence and Venice come alive!

My Zicasso travel agent booked tours through ArtViva for myself and my husband. We were so pleased she did! In Venice Leticia took us on the water by gondola and speed boat; this is the way to see Venice! Then Tatiana took us through St. Mark's and Doge's Palace, helping us understand the symbolism, art, and history of these places. In Florence, Rodrigo led us to better understand the David and spent time going into our questions with thoughtfulness. A 3 hour walking tour with Kate opened our eyes to what was in plain sight! We would not have understood Florence without her! Finally, the piece de resistance was Klaas and the tour of the Ufizzi Gallery. His storytelling and excitement was effervescent! We adding his tour because of the pleasure we had on the other booked tours, and I'm so glad that Klaas was our last ArtViva tour - what a beautiful ending to being in Florence! Thank you, ArtViva, for making these two cities come alive. I was so pleased with your guides, professional office staff, and joy!

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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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