What to do in Siena? News.
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    CHIANTI CASTLES TOUR

    TUSCANY IS FULL OF PLACES WORTH VISITING. ONCE YOU’VE GONE TO FLORENCE AND PISA, YOU MAY AS WELL VISIT SIENA AND DO A TOUR OF THE CHIANTI CASTELS, SYMBOLS OF THE RIVALRY BETWEEN SIENA AND FLORENCE. Siena is located in a strategic position to visit the castles, whichever route you want to choose (SP408 or SP222). We have created two possible Chianti Castles Tour itineraries, inspired by a collection made by the town of Gaiole in Chianti. ROUTE 1: STRADA CHIANTIGIANA SP408, admiring vineyards and castles. Leaving Siena towards Gaiole in Chianti, there are so many castles you can’t miss visiting. First and foremost, the fascinating Castello di Brolio, built by Langobardic people, then bought by the Ricasoli family in 1141. It is situated halfway between Siena and Florence, and it was one of the main places where their battles took place. Brolio can be visited through one of the many tours provided. Visiting the gardens does not require a reservation, but the other tours do. We suggest you do the “Sunset tour” which includes a guided tour of the gardens and the castle and a dinner at the local Osteria. Castello di Meleto : founded in 1200, it played a great role within the battles between Guelfs and Ghibellines. It is possible to visit the rooms decorated with wall paintings and an ancient “Teatrino” which dates back to 1700. Underneath the castle there’s the wine cellar, where you can do a wine tasting featuring a mix of local cold-cuts and cheese. Castello di Spoltenna: Nowadays this castle houses a five-star hotel and three restaurants. Il Pievano, Stella Michelin 2017, it is very elegant, where the visitors can do a proper wine and food tour. La Terrazza, on the other hand, it offers a breathtaking view on the gardens and the vineyards of the castle. L’Osteria, open at dinner only, it is a place where the elegance of the Pievano meets the traditional Tuscan cuisine. Badia a Coltibuono: You can spend a night in this charming castle and then try the menu of the famous  Ristorante di Badia a Coltibuono. Its menu being very influenced by the traditional Tuscan cuisine but with a creative spin. ROUTE 2: STRADA CHIANTIGIANA SP222, a taste of Chianti Classico. First stop: Castello di Fonterutoli, very close to Castellina in Chianti. Between 1202 and 1208 it was the place where many treaties were signed by the two rival towns. It is known for its historical importance, but also for its wine, the worldwide famous “Chianti Classico”. Moreover, Fonterutoli  is the place of birth of the DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil Chianti Classico. Castello di Ama: this castle is located in one of the most charming zones of Chianti. It offers guided tours (booking compulsory) but wine tasting tours as well. Everyday but Tuesday you can enjoy your meal at “Ristoro di Ama”, wine bar which offers Tuscan dishes and Chianti Classico.   Castello di Vertine: This castles is mentioned for the first time in an historical document in 1013. In 1202 it was bought by the Ricasoli family. Inside the walls you can visit the Torre di Vertine and the San Bartolomeo Church. Siena is in a perfect position for everyone who wants to visit the Chianti Castles, whether taking the SP222 or SP408. Hotel Borgo Grondaie , located at just 1,5 km from the city center, is the best choice for visitors who travel by car, since they can use our parking lot for free. Check out our offers, we hope to see you soon!

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    SIENA PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS

      The Siena Photography Awards called SIPA CONTEST is an annual competition among the best photographer worldwide known as well as photo amateurs. This year is on show in Siena from October 24th to November 29th. Don’t miss it!! One of the most renowned photo contest in the world with a selection among 48.000 images from 161 countries. Even if it is on its 7th edition, the SIPA Contest became a festival where professional expert and amateur photographers gathering to share their passion for this art. But who are the heros? Photographers: professionals, amateurs and students coming from 161 countries. They are the artists able to capture the moment, the unique and unrepeatable moment that will make just unique their photo. The themes chosen for the competition were various and left ample space also for modern experiments with unusual subjects. Again this year the selection is entrusted to a jury of professional photographers and unfortunately, due to COVID emergency, in this edition there won’t be a final ceremony to award the winners of each category. Visitors safety is the most important issue,  that’s why the exhibition will be spread into different  indoor and outdoor locations: The main exhibition is in the Former Distillery lo Stellino – Via Fiorentina 95 Other locations are: Gardens In via del Romitorio – near Arco di Fontegiusta The Medici Fortress The Natural History Museum of Siena The Cloister of San Domenico Basilic La Tinaia cultural Centre – in Sovicille (12 Km away from Siena) There is also an exhibition inside the exhibition along the street of Siena city centre. It is a real journey dedicated to the cities during the lockdown for Covid19 emergency. The portraits are wearing a QRcode as a mask  and this will take you to a great journey for each picture with unedited video shot during the lockdown by the photographers taking part to SIPA2020.   The exhibitions are open to the public from October 24 to November 29 Opening Time:Friday: 03:00 pm-07:00 pmSaturday-Sunday: 10:00 am-07:00 pmHolidays: 10:00 am-07:00 pm Entrance: Cumulative ticket: € 12,00 per personCumulative ticket (over 65 ): € 8,00 Cumulative ticket (student): € 5,00Free entrance for visitors under 10 accompanied by parents You can purchase your ticket on linehttps://app-festival.sienawards.com/tickets   Borgo Grondaie is located only 2 km away from Siena City centre and just 3 km away from Immagine all the people sharing all the world Photo Exhibition.  You do not need your car to reach most of the locations of the exhibition because you can even reach them on foot! Don’t miss it!

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    VISIT TUSCANY ON STEAM TRAIN

    FROM SIENA TO THE CRETE, SLOWLY DOWN TO THE SOUTHERN VAL D’ORCIA UP TO THE FOOTHILLS OF MOUNT AMIATA,  A JOURNEY THROUGH NATURE, TRADITIONS AND GOOD FOOD! A trip on the Steam Train takes you back in time. Not only because the old fashion carriages which are completely originals, but also for the events that are encountered along the way. This is one of the best way to enjoy the traditions of Tuscany as in autumn there are lots of fairs and festivals in little towns with music, local food and good wine. Train are real old steam train or vintage train from 70s.  The thrill of getting on-drawn carriages these dark smoldering giants is good fun for everyone both young and old. The traveling slower than the modern trains, also allows you to fully enjoy the beauty of the changing landscape along the way: the sweet rooling hills of Crete,  the steam train glides gently into the wild landscape of the Val d’Orcia  with small hilltop villages, up to the green  forests of the Monte Amiata. During the seasons change the colors, scents and so it’s every time a truly unique experience! Many routes that allow you to visit less tourist places but still rich in art and history. You can jump down the train in one of the romantic stations and then walk down paths to reach churches, villages and castles, stopping on the way  for a tasting wine and food in farms or have fun at fairs and festivals with local people. Every season is a good season to visit Tuscany on a Steam Train. In Springtime May and June you can enjoy the green countryside and flowers of the crete, on the other hand in autumn ( from September to November) you can enjoy the beauty of the countryside as well as join festival and events like Sagra del Tordo in Montalcino, Truffle events in Asciano and Chestnuts festival in Abbadia San Salvatore. Steam Train program is every year different, that's why we suggest you to check on the web site: https://www.ferrovieturistiche.it/en/ The departure is as usual from Siena station which is 600m from Borgo Grondaie and easily reached on foot thanks to a brand new walkway Participation fee Adults Euro 37,00  Children under 10 years: free without the right to a seat accompanied by at least one paying adult, or € 16.00 with seat assignments (the children’s seats are a limited number) Registration fee for each participant: € 3.00 Take the chance to visit Siena and its countryside on a Steam Train...travel slow...travel green and discover festival and traditions of Tuscany.