Road Trip Italy – France
First Stop: Siena

The first part of our Road Trip Series was live a few days ago including detailed maps with every route, all the specifics of a road trip, the cost etc. If you haven’t read it yet, I should probably then explain how we got to Siena. It was after a 2-hour flight from Athens to Rome where we picked up our rental car and began our trip to Florence where we would stay overnight. After survivng the heatwave and a few setbacks at Ciampino airport, we were set to leave to Siena.

Two and a half hours and 250 km later, we were arriving at Siena, a city characterized as an open-air museum. It is a city of huge significance, thanks to its history and culture, a city that has preserved its medieval character throughout the centuries. You’ll definitely fall for its Gothic architecture and huge, wooden doors (a personal “thing” of mine – you’ll know what I mean if you follow me on Instagram), while you’ll adore its historic center – no wonder why it has been declared a World Heritage site by Unesco. Besides the medieval architecture signifying the city as an open-air museum, there are plenty of Rennaisaince works of art decorating the streets of Siena, making it unique.


Not random, between all cities of Italy,Siena is considered the most visited by tourists thanks to its beauty and historic value.


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Since it was just a 3-hour stop for us,  towards our final destination – Florence – I’m not gonna list all the must-do’s, tips and advice. I wouldn’t write about anything I hadn’t experienced myself and since we had so little time to spend exploring Siena, I’ll just say this; remember that, when in Italy, the opening hours of restaurants and shops differ than those in Greece (or those in other parts of the world) – it’s an important detail that will not only dissappoint you, but make you re-schedule your whole trip to adjust to it. So, forget about having lunch at 15:00!

To get over out dissapointment, we decided to visit one of the many delicatessen shops located in the city centre. There, we had the chance to taste prosciutto di Parma and Pecorino cheese, all fresh-cut and served in a plain plastic plate, accompanied with tomato and cheese pizza, olives and grilled artichokes. There’s no restaurant that would astonish me as this little shop with its plastic plate filled with Italian delicacies did. This was our first meal in Italy – just like that, simply using our hands, tasting delicious traditional food. Perfection.


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While you may hear that the city is perfect for them museum and art lovers but let me tell you one thing; it is a city as perfect for those who love the endless strolls around medieval cities – even if you do not wish to set a foot at any of the museums! Our stroll continued at the historic centre, visiting Piazza del Campo – the main square of Siena – and the Duomo di Siena Cathedral without forgetting all the little, cute alleys in between.

If Piazza del Campo is considered the heart of Siena, then Duomo is its soul!


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Out of everything you can do whie in the city of Siena, you most surely have to visit Pasticceria Nannini – the most delicious Italian gelato and strong shakerato cafe are its trademarks. Note that, if you do taste the coffee, you most probably won’t get any sleep for the next 2 days and nights. If you are a coffee lover though, you’ll love it!

The Pasticceria Nannini is a place-to-see, a trademark of Siena’s centre.


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Shakerato – Nannini Cafe

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While our stroll around Siena lasted a couple of hours, i have to admit that it was a great stop before reaching Florence. If I ever get the chance, I would love to visit it again. And as you may noticed, our 2nd stop was Florence where we stayed for two days. A full post about our days and nights in Florence will be up shortly!

And just like that, we left behind us the incredible Siena…



** My Lovely Disclosure. Before leaving for this Road Trip, Sony Hellas asked me to try out their new Sony Cyber Shot DSC-HX90 – the smallest camera in its category. Every photo of this trip (as well as a video) had been taken with this exact camera. Its 250 gr and wi-fi connection, were a huge advantage while travelling – if you check out my Instagram, you’ll know. This is – as always – my personal opinion. Every experience and product I share with you is Maryhop tested and approved.


Maria Kalymnou

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