Siena Piazza del Mercato
Shutterbugs will want to stop in Piazza del Mercato to capture the sweeping view from this former market square over the Sienese hills outside of town. Join a walking tour of the historic center to take in piazza’s 19th-century market loggia (known locally as the “tartarugone”, or turtle) and the scenic overlook, as well as nearby highlights like Piazza del Campo and Fontana Gaia, Palazzo Pubblico, Torre del Mangia, and Duomo. Siena’s historic center is quite compact and best explored on foot, and the town is a popular stop on Chianti day trips from Florence and Rome. Tours of Siena are often paired with stops in Pisa or the hilltowns of San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, and Castellina.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Piazza del Mercato overlooks the lush hills of the surrounding Val d’Orcia, so be sure to bring your camera.
- The piazza is easy to navigate for wheelchair users, though there is public parking along the wall lining the scenic overlook which may block access.
- Tours of Siena and Piazza del Mercato require a fair bit of walking outdoors, so wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
- There are a number of restaurants and cafès in Piazza del Mercato for a snack or meal.
How to Get There
Piazza del Mercato is in the historic center of Siena, just behind the main Piazza del Campo and a quick walk from other city highlights like the Duomo and the Basilica of San Domenico.
When to Get There
The highlight of Piazza del Mercato is its beautiful view over the Sienese hills, so visit in early morning or late afternoon or the best light for photographs.
Siena’s Palio Piazza
Just on the other side of Palazzo Pubblico from Piazza del Mercato, the vast expanse of Piazza del Campo is home to the Palio di Siena, one of the most famous and rowdy historical festivals in Italy. The highlight is a bareback horse race held in the square each year on July 2 and again on August 16 when horses and riders representing 10 of the 17 contrade, or historical town districts, race through the packed square.
- Siena Civic Museum (Museo Civico di Siena)
- Mangia Tower (Torre del Mangia)
- Palio of Siena (Palio di Siena)
- Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain)
- Piazza del Campo
- Siena Cathedral (Duomo)
- Siena Historic Center (Siena Centro Storico)
- Baptistery of San Giovanni (Battistero di San Giovanni)
- National Art Gallery of Siena (Pinacoteca Nazionale Siena)
- Piccolomini Library (Libreria Piccolomini)
- Santa Maria della Scala
- Siena Cathedral Museum (Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana)
- Basilica of San Domenico (Basilica di San Domenico)
- Montalcino Fortress (Fortezza di Montalcino)