Day Trips From

Day Trips From
Day trips from Siena

Tips and Advise for day trips from Siena by Road to Travel Inc.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The best food festivals near Siena

Food lovers visiting Siena are always spoilt for choice with excellent restaurants, bakeries and delicatessens selling the most delicious food. Local food festivals also offer great opportunities for immersing in traditions and sampling excellent Tuscan specialties. Almost every town in the area has their own dishes and customs, so you are bound to come across a food festival any time of year in one place or another. 

The beautiful village of Montefioralle has been hosting the Fritters Festival (Festa della Frittella) every March since the 1960s. The frittelle di San Giuseppe made to an antique local recipe from cooked rice and eggs are fried in a huge frying pan, two metres in diameter, on the piazza in front of the ancient Montefioralle castle. Hot and delicious, they are washed down with Chianti wine or sweet vinsanto. 

In October the small village of Vivo d'Orcia celebrates a Mushroom and Chestnut Festival (Sagra del Fungo e della Castagna). Two local teams make wooden stools and tables with antique saws that are later used for a feast. Traditional polenta, chestnut and porcini mushroom dishes are served in the streets and restaurants.


Cheese lovers from all over Italy gather in Pienza on the first Sunday in September to enjoy the Pecorino Fair and "Cacio al Fuso". Pienza’s sheep’s milk cheese is considered one of the best in Italy and can be sampled during the festival. The Cacio al Fuso, a cheese rolling competition, has ancient roots. Participants roll small heads of cheese aiming at a spindle and whoever hits it wins a prize.  

Pecorino from Pienza
During the Fall Festival (Festa d'Autunno) in Asciano that takes place in October, food lovers can gorge on dishes made with local white truffles (tartufo bianco delle Crete Senesi). Local farmers and artisans set up their stands along the town’s cobbled streets selling delicacies made with the precious tuber and other local specialties. Restaurants serve fragrant pasta dishes with white truffle accompanied by excellent local wines.

Photos via Flickr by: Jon Culver, Salvadonica Borgo del Chianti, Jonathan Cohen.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Sienese Clay Hills

South of Siena, towards the province of Arezzo and Mount Amiata, stretches a vast area called Crete Sienese, or Sienese Clay Hills. The landscape here seems almost deserted with barren grey-coloured gentle hills extending into horizon, patches of woods, cultivated fields, solitary farmhouses and isolated towns. Millions of years ago, water covered this area with and what we see now is the result of slow sediment erosion. 

Crete Sienese
For a taste of local culture head to the small medieval towns in the Crete Senesi. Located in the heart of the Crete area, Asciano has a beautifully preserved old centre partially surrounded by ancient walls. There is a beautiful Church of Sant'Agata with 16th century frescoes, an interesting museum of medieval art and archaeology as well as a couple of excellent restaurants. In September, the village hosts a traditional donkey race called Palio dei Ciuchi

Serre di Rapolano
The town of Buonconvento is surrounded by well-preserved medieval walls with seven towers. Here you can enjoy a stroll along the old streets and a delightful meal in one of the traditional restaurants. Another place that is worth a visit is Serre di Rapolano, a town famous for its hot springs with two excellent spas where you can pamper yourself and relax by a swimming pool with a glass of bubbly prosecco. If you are a foodie, do not miss San Giovanni d'Asso, a stunning hamlet overlooked by a formidable castle, where an annual white truffle takes place in November. You can visit a truffle museum, taste mouth-watering delicacies made with the precious tuber and go truffle hunting with a local guide. 

Follow the road cutting through the lunar landscape of the clay hills and you will arrive to the 14th century Benedictine Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Spend some time here admiring the spectacular frescoes depict the life of St. Benedict and listening to the monks’ Gregorian chants.
Between the villages Arbia and Leonina you will find the beautiful landscape art Site Transitoire by French artist Jean-Paul Philippe where you can sit and enjoy the silence and views of the clay hills.

Photos via Flickr by: Antonio Cinotti, Morgan Haye, Sampo Sikiƶ.