Guided tours

Here are a few tours that we suggest:

- SIENA CLASSICAL WALKING TOUR
- SIENA RELIGIOUS WALKING TOUR

Another possibility is to hire an English-speaking driver and combine the visit of some of the towns below. Your driver would take care of parking the car (very often, in Italy, cars can’t access city centers) while you explore the towns on your own, or accompanied by a guide.

SAN GIMIGNANO: The town of the towers. It is called the Manhattan of Tuscany
TOUR DURATION: 2 HOURS
Walled medieval hill town that became particularly important as a stopping point of the “ via Francigena” for the Catholic pilgrims on their way from the north of Europe to Rome and the State of the Church.
The production of saffron was a major industry for this town throughout the Middle Ages. Nowadays, San Gimignano is known in the world for its unique towers and the white “Vernaccia” wine.
Main sights of interest: the high-rise towers that one can spot from far away, Piazza della Cisterna (Cistern Square), Palazzo del Comune, Piazza del Duomo (inside are frescoes by Ghirlandaio representing Saint Fina, the young girl who, thanks to the miracles she performed, became the patron saint of San Gimignano). More hidden but certainly worth the little walk, are the church and square of Sant’Agostino. Inside the painter Benozzo Gozzoli represented the life of Saint Agustin. Another nice walk takes you up to the fortress (rocca), with superb panoramas and the best place for good photos.


MONTERIGGIONI: “Monteriggioni crowns itself with towers” (chant nº XXXI Inferno, Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri)
TOUR DURATION: 1 HOUR
It’s the most significant example of a “walled city”. Fortified on a hill, Monteriggioni was founded by the Sienese in 1203 to prevent the attacks of the Florentines. Things you can do here:
  - Go to the walkway that runs around the summit of the walls: superb views!
  - Visit the armour museum about “knights, leaders and soldiers of fortune” (perfect for children as they are allowed to try on some of the armours!)
  - Visit the little church Santa Maria Assunta
  - Last but not least – have a great lunch!


COLLE VAL D’ELSA: The city of crystal
TOUR DURATION: 1 HOUR
This town was founded on the Elsa river and became an important centre for mercantile activity. By the Middle Ages it had a strong industrial development of paper works. In the 19th century it developed the industry of glass blowing and crystal. Here, it is interesting to visit a glass factory as Colle Val d’Elsa represents the Venice of Tuscany with 90 % of Italian crystal production. The old town runs along the crest of a hill with well-kept city walls, a cistern, the tower and house of Arnolfo di Cambio. Arnolfo was the architect of the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio and church Santa Croce in Florence.


MONTEPULCIANO: A pearl of the 16th century
TOUR DURATION: 1 ½ HOURS
Located on a hill that rises between the valleys of the Chiana and Orcia rivers, Montepulciano was an important Etruscan city. Due to its strategic position as a trading hub, it was the cause of long disputes between Siena and Florence. When it became part of the Medici dominion in 1511, wealthy and noble families built beautiful Renaissance palaces making Montepulciano famous as the “pearl of the 16th century”. Agnolo Poliziano, philosopher and tutor of the children of Lorenzo il Magnifico of the Medici family, was born here and a commemoration plaque on his birthhouse reminds us of this. The town offers the famous local wine “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano” and many interesting visits to wineries and wine tasting can be organized here and in Montalcino, another famous and charming medieval town.


PIENZA The ideal town
TOUR DURATION: 1 HOUR
Pienza is known as “the ideal town” for the perfection of its geometrical buildings which make it a perfect example of the Renaisance ideals. The pope Pius II of the Piccolomini Family who was born here in the 15th century decided to transform the small village Corsignano in a “real city” and he called it Pienza (from his name “Pius”).
The cathedral and Piccolomini palace are the best examples of Renaissance architecture.
Besides art and history, the town offers a great variety of local cheeses obtained from sheep and goat milk known as “pecorino di Pienza”.

For enquiries and/or arrangements for a walking tour in English please contact us at info@beautyinitaly.com