What Photograph in Siena

Siena is one of the most loved and visited cities in Tuscany. Like her rival Florence , it is a place rich in history and art, but also with strong traditions, mainly linked to the districts and the famous Palio di Siena. If you Photograph Siena for the first time, I would definitely recommend going straight to the heart of the city. So go towards the wonderful Piazza del Campo, one of the symbolic places of the city. In the area between Piazza del Campo and the Cathedral you will basically find the main attractions of the city to shooting. Indeed here you will most likely spend most of your time.

Lost around the old town

The same has been said for Siena for Florence. Getting lost in its streets with the camera is one of the most beautiful things that can happen. Stroll aimlessly through the streets, capture the alleys and squares of the historic center, a UNESCO heritage site, following what instincts suggest from time to time. After all, it is something that almost all photographers who arrive for the first time in the city do, with an adjoining final ritual: sit in Piazza del Campo and enjoy the spectacle all around. Beautiful, beautiful, even the night walk with the tripod.

photograph Siena

Piazza Del Campo

Piazza del Campo is truly unique and unmistakable. In fact it has a particular shell shape and a brick color given by the terracotta flooring. You can capture the covering of the buildings overlooking the square, positioning yourself in the center of the square. Piazza del Campo hosts, twice a year, on July 2nd and August 16th, the famous Palio di Siena, the most awaited event by all the Sienese.

In the square you can photograph the marvelous Fonte Gaia, the largest city fountain decorated, in its original version, with sculptures by Jacopo della Quercia. La Fonte we see today is a copy, made of Carrara marble.

Torre del Mangia

One of the most beautiful panoramas of the city is undoubtedly photographed from the Torre del Mangia, the civic tower, 87 meters high. The climb is a bit tiring, especially if you are not trained. In fact, there are over 400 slightly steep and narrow steps. But the 360 ° view that awaits you is nothing short of spectacular and the photos you take from here will amply repay the effort made.

photograph Siena

Piazza Del Duomo

The Duomo of Siena, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, is one of the most remarkable examples of an Italian Romanesque-Gothic church. It is Imposing, almost dazzling due to the extensive use of white marble, the Cathedral of Siena fascinates even from the outside. Upon entering you will not be disappointed: the Cathedral is enriched by works signed by none other than Donatello, Nicola Pisano, Michelangelo and Pinturicchio.

Photograph Siena

The interior, like the exterior, is decorated in white and dark green, almost black marble, which are the representative colors of Siena.

Others attraction and Museum.

There are many other monument to see an some amazing museum to see in town. In fact the Palazzo Pubblico, the Pinacoteca Nazionale, the Museum of Santa Maria La Scala are the places of the civil and artistic history of the city. Suffice it to say that the present works cover a time span of about a thousand years. There are many collections on display: among others, we point out the National Archaeological Museum, the famous Treasure of Santa Maria La Scala and the Library-Photo Library of Giuliano Briganti (1918-1992), historian and art critic who has profoundly influenced cultural life of the city.

If you are full of stone, you can go to The Botanical Garden. It was established in 1784 as early as the end of 1850, it had more than 3000 plants, most of them coming from distant countries, and therefore little known from a botanical point of view. Interesting for photographers who love nature and plants

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Around Siena

The province of Siena is beautiful to photograph. The countryside of this area is one of most beautiful around the globe. You will photograph wonderful lands, each with its own particularities. The fields of wine, , the small villages on the to of the hill, abbey and churches, the monuments, etc. Most landscape images are unique and you will not forget, especially the road to the coast and Livorno. You should spend at least two days to explore the area and take some images at golden hour, better sunrise than sunset.

Be prepare to Photograph Siena

Before leaving to photograph Siena get sure to be prepare. It’s not a big area but there are a lot of thinks to capture. Indeed are not easy choice to dealing with, especially if you are first timer. So find your subjects to shoot is really fundamental and then decide how do it. Usually my first step to be prepare is to look a map of the area and choose what coming first. Also search for landscape to capture and what time I have the best light to do it. Then try to read something about history and culture and costumes. Meanwhile search for works made in this region by greater photographers. Indeed from them you will be learning a lot of things. Take notes and made a checklist.

The Right Gear to Photograph Siena

Siena is a little romantic and beautiful city and you can capture stunning images in many location, no matter the gear. Even a phone would do! Anyway, if you want to make the most of your journey in town, here is some equipment that you might need.

  • A camera. It doesn’t matter if your camera is a full-frame or APSC if you understand how to use it.
  • A wide-angle lens. Useful in Architecture and in the tiny street in old. Also would be useful for some landscapes scene to fit everything into the frame.
  • A versatile travel zoom, such as 24-105mm or similar. This will come in handy when you need to zoom in town. I don’t suggest a dedicated telephoto, but having something with more reach will definitely help.
  • A tripod for some night photography and landscape from the countryside.
  • (Optional) a polarizing filter. A polarizing filter can occasionally be useful, so if you have one, there is no reason not to bring it. But I wouldn’t list it as a hard requirement.
  • (Optional) a drone. If you have a drone, Siena is not a perfect place to fly it. You can use just only outside if the city, in old town you need special permit. Although you can looking this map about flying in certain areas.

When Photograph Siena

The best time to visit and Photograph Siena is from April to June and September to October. In fact the light is at the best and you can get really amazing colors at the golden hours. Also the weather is generally nice, the prices are lower and there are fewer tourists. Instead is better to avoid the end of July and August, because it is very hot and the light is strong. However the main event The Palio is celebrate in this period. Another months to consider are in winter is generally quite cold in the whole region, more than you normally imagine. You can find interesting weather condition to capture.

Get There

Located in the center of Tuscany, Siena can be easily reached from the other cities of the region by car, train and bus, depending on which vehicle is most comfortable for you. Keep in mind that the historic center is closed to private traffic and therefore you will still have to move on foot or by public transport. Siena station is located outside the city, but is connected to the historic center by city buses.

One the best way to travel for you photographic trip in Siena is by a private car. Anyway this is perfect option to moving around the town and explore the country side. In fact to stay and discover the city is better arrive with The train . Indeed this is the fastest way to get from other city, like Pisa or Livorno Once you are in town you can visit the city walking, in bicycle or by taking bus.

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Move around to Photograph Siena

After Photograph Siena the best way to continue you photographic trip is rent a private car. However this is one of the most expensive forms of travel in Italy, is perfect option to moving around particularly in country side.

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Getting a really god insurance. Like any destination, traveling with proper travel insurance is a must. Take care of yourself in the Italy.

Be Responsible

So when you going to photograph Tuscany respect the environment and stay away from problems. Usually the most strictly places are the church and the religious site. For having more information on responsible travel photography check my other post.

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