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10.13.2016

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

At the height of Italian summer I did something most out of character and headed away from the coast and spent a few days in Siena. It was for a very good reason that I abandoned my lettino for the Tuscan hills. I had been invited to the Palio, the fabled “horse race” (which is such a simplified explanation of what the Palio is I won’t begin to explain it in this post, but you can start with this video, this film, and this article) In between the complicated and ornate rituals that surround this event I ate some excellent meals. Here are my 11 best addresses to eat drink and stay in Siena.

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

DRINK

Nannini
via Banchi di Sopra, 24
Piazza Matteotti, 29

The very famous bakery/cafe Nannini on the main drag in Siena was packed during the days of the Palio. I did stop in quickly to buy a few beautifully packaged paneforte and boxes of ricciarelli., but I spent much more time, like at least twice a day, at the outlet underneath my Bed and Breakfast. The decor here is modern and the coffee, cocktails and juice are made with thought and flair. 



Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Bar a Onda
via Dupré 82

I can find the sea even in the hills of Tuscany and this neighborhood off the Piazza del Campo is home to the Onda contrada, which means wave and whose symbol is a dolphin. This is a simple local neighborhood bar, perfect for a quick coffee or something cold to drink. 


Liberamente Osteria
Piazza del Campo 27

It is absolutely worth at least one drink in the Piazza del Campo. I recommend Liberamente Osteria which has the perfect view of the Torre del Mangia, well priced drinks and excellent aperitivo snacks.



Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Morbidi
via Banchi di Sopra 75

The service here can be a little (ok a lot) crabby if you don’t speak Italian with a perfect Tuscan accent, but the space is beautiful and the coffee is very good. There is an varied selection of hot and cold dishes that you can eat in the back of the cafe or order for takeout. 


EAT



Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Osteria di Castelvecchio
via Castelvecchio 65

Owned by a Tartuca (turtle) the afternoon we visited the tables were filled with people from that contrada singing loudly, setting a very festive mood for our first meal during the Palio. We ordered traditional Tuscan dishes like slow cooked beans and pici (a thick spaghetti-like pasta shape) with meat ragu. A bottle of cold Vernaccia from nearby San Gimingnano was the perfect accompaniment.



Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Salefino Vino e Cucina
via degli Umiliati, 1

On the edge of town, this Instagram friendly trattoria has a young friendly staff and an extensive menu that is firmly based in Tuscany, but brings in elements from Lazio and Campania. Our large group ordered Tuscan reds and whites, classics like chicken liver pate and pasta with a rabbit ragu, rare slices of Tuscan beef and I had a sublime duck confit. 



Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Le Campane
via delle Campane 6

I had lunch and dinner at this centrally located spot with breezy outdoor seating. The appetizers are all excellent, particularly the stuffed zucchini flowers with shavings of summer truffles. My farfale (bowtie) pasta with friarelli peppers and fennel was a perfect summer dish. 



Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

La Taverna di San Guiseppe
via Duprè, 132

This is a cozy, brick walled place that serves hearty and traditional Senese food located at the top of a hill in the Onda neighborhood. Mark ordered beans (of course) and Saskia’s bruschetta with lardo and honey was splendid. My very old school pastry wrapped, mushroom topped Tuscan steak was most delicious. Make sure to visit the wine cellar that is built into an original Etruscan house.

Antica Osteria da Divo
via Franciosa, 25

Near the Duomo this is another restaurant built into Etruscan tuff. The downstairs rooms are full of atmosphere, but the damp starts to keep into your bones by the end of your meal, so I advise you sit upstairs. The food is formally presented and solidly Tuscan classic,

Grotto Santa Caterina Bagoga
via della Galluzza, 26

I had been craving a plate of garlicky and tomatoey Pici all’Aglione from the moment I arrived in Siena and had somehow been unable to find it on a menu. For my last meal, Paola who owns Paradiso Numero 4 took us to Bagoga. This restaurant is owned by a legendary Palio jockey and is renowned for it’s meat dishes. We all four swapped our plates and shared, except for my plate of Aglione, which I greedily slurped every last bite.

STAY



Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Siena's 11 Best Addresses to Eat, Drink and Stay

Paradiso Numero 4
via del Paradiso, 4

I kind of never wanted to leave this charming bed and breakfast that is located on the top floor of a medieval era building two minutes stroll away from Siena’s principal street, via Banchi di Sopra. Comfortable and stylish there is an attention to the tiniest of details here from the stacks of books, to a charming soap dish to the colorful tiles on the kitchen floor.

Every morning the owner Paola thoughtfully prepares a breakfast buffet with pastries from Nannini, freshly made cake, thick cut tuscan prosciutto, local cheese and fruits. One morning she made tiramisu, which I have to say is kind of great for breakfast.

Paola is so welcoming you really feel like you are staying your best Senese pals house. She happily shares her favorite places to eat and shop and what not to miss in her historic hometown.






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