Siena: what to see and do

Jane Keightley brings us six highlights of this magical Tuscan city… the things not to be missed when you visit Siena… Photos by iStock Piazza del Campo The shell-shaped piazza that is the centre of Siena was completed in 1340 and all manner of activities have taken place here, including boxing matches, bullfights and even […]

Siena’s Palio: the Thrill of the Race

Siena Palio, Tuscany Siena

Having failed on previous occasions to see the actual races, Jane Keightley finally experiences all the pride and pageantry of Palio week in Siena… Photos by Jane Keightley This was far from the first time I had visited Siena, but never before had I actually been there to experience the Palio. On one occasion I […]

Grotesque Style

The term Grotesque derives from the caves, or grotte, where Renaissance builders unearthed this ancient form The Grotesque style was all the rage during the 1500s for both interiors and exteriors all over Italy. It continued to be so for the following two centuries. Nowadays, when the word is mentioned, negative images of unfortunate distorted […]

Viewpoint – Casole d’Elsa, Arte All’Arte

Once upon a time, deep in the heart of Tuscany, the ancient hilltop town of Casole d’Elsa was filled with plastic objects in the name of art… The small 12th century town of Casole d’Elsa near Siena saw its main street completely transformed by this unusual work of art in 2001. The quirky and colourful […]

Spirit of Siena

Like the city itself, Siena’s top hotel is steeped in history. Sarah Lane enjoys a stay in sumptuous surroundings Siena is indisputably one of Italy’s most alluring cities. With its fabulous art and architecture, strong traditions, delicious food and seductive air, it’s an unforgettable place. Delightful medieval streets dotted with shops and trattorie twist around […]

Region Guide: Discovering Tuscany

Rolling hills, beautiful coastline and gothic architecture, we discover what more Tuscany has to offer… Tuscany was one of the first destinations to attract large numbers of travellers from the UK – and with very good reason: the region offers a rich combination of culture, historic cities, antiquities, agreeable climate and friendly locals; it encapsulates everything that is beautiful about […]

Abbey of San Galgano

The Abbey of San Galgano by Sharene Hanlon “With the day having beautiful blue skies, we set out to find the Abbey of San Galgano. After stopping in a few towns and then stopping by a local Italian bar and receiving the correct location, we found it! In 1789, lightening struck the bell tower which […]

Tuscany’s Top 10 Beauty Spots

Tuscany is rightly recognised as being one of the world’s most beautiful regions – here we highlight ten of our favourite destinations that justify this claim… 1. BAGNO VIGNONI HOT SPRINGS, VAL D’ORCIA While traditional towns may have a main town square in their centre, in Bagno Vignoni it is simply a huge thermal pool. […]

Italia! issue 105 is on sale now

The August 2013 issue of Italia! magazine is on sale now, and we have packed plenty of summer inspiration into this edition! Join us for 48 hours in Tuscany’s second city, Siena, and explore the history and culture of Sicily with an island retreat. For those dreaming of visiting the lagoons of Venice, we also […]