From Los Angeles to Italy, we take you across the globe for our next instalment of our 'My City' series and into Europe. Tuscany in fact, and fashion blogger Alessio Convito gives us a guide to what the Italian city of Siena has got to offer.
If you thought Italy was all about pizza, pasta, pepperoni and anything else carb related beginning with the letter P, then think again. Alessio is here to be your stylish guide and explore the places you really can't miss when you're jetting around the historic hill town. So what are you waiting for? Sit back, relax, but don't close your eyes as you'll need to read what he has to say.
Siena is where I was born and grew up, a small and beautifully tranquil town. It's environmentally conscious and full of culture and tradition. In fact, it's a Candidate City for European Capital of Culture 2019, which I'm very proud of. The best time to visit Siena is around July 2 or August 16, because those dates show the Palio - the traditional equestrian race, where horses race around the Piazza Del Campo. The wild enthusiasm of the citizens really makes for a unique experience!
Siena can be fun for getting lost in alleyways by the famous hot colour "Terre di Siena" which immerses visitors in an atmosphere similar to that of the Middle Ages. During the day, I like to get a fresh milkshake from Grom, a natural ice-cream shop, and go to the famous Piazza del Campo. Unique in its shape of a shell, you can sit on the floor and enjoy a smoothie, admiring the view of the town hall and the tower, called Torre del Mangia. The tower climb brings about an unusual emotion as you discover the panorama of the city.
I always have the urge to go shopping! Via Banchi di Sopra is great for high end fashion, or Via Montanini if I need a tailored suit or art pieces. It's inevitable that I'll get a coffee at the Morbidi chic cafe or a delicious slice of homemade chocolate cake at the Pulcino cafe. But don't miss the Cathedral decorated with black and white stripes. It's said that its floor is one of the most beautiful in the world. The facade changes colour at sunset and it's definitely worth seeing its transformation.
When it comes to food, Siena is full of great restaurants and taverns - however, it's often impossible to pick one. The most important thing is to taste salumi, cheeses and meat-based dishes, especially pigskin, accompanied by a good wine! Green hills and vineyards surround the towns near Fattoria La Muraglia and it's the perfect place to relax and have a swim in the pool while touring Siena.