Piazza del Campo
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Recommended Reviews for Piazza del Campo
12 reviews in English
Review from Karen F.
I adore Siena - in or out of Palio season - and to me it's nicer out of season when there are fewer tourists and crowds. The Piazza is a great place to start exploring the tiny alleys and lovely restaurants with friendly people.
I love Siena!
Review from Flory W.
This area reminds of the Pioneer Square without the steps! Without the Palio that happens twice a year, by the 17 Contrada, there is not much attraction! Twice a year, the outer section of the square is covered with earth so the Palio, a bareback horse race, can be run.
The clock tower is located in the Piazza del Campo, which takes a little over 1 min. The day of the horse race, people started gathering inside the square for the best spot, and they can't move otherwise, someone will take over their spot. They start from gathering as early as 8AM. The race begins @ 2PM.
Fonte Gaia is also found in the square it is the first fountain in the Piazza del Campo was first competed in 1342, after much hydraulic construction led water to the site. Underground pipes brought water to the site from 25 kilometers away. Legend holds that the fountain was met with much joy, and thus the name Gaia or joyous. Others suggest the term Gaia refers to the Latin term for "bride", and that the fountain was dedicated to the bride of God and patron of Siena, the Virgin Mary. -- at Caffe' Fonte Gaia Siena.
The Duomo Cathedral is just a short distance walk away and there are palaces of medieval & gothic architecture, and the best of the city's paintings - collected in the Museo Civico and Pinacoteca Nazional.
Review from Nick H.
It's the heart of Siena--both historic and contemporary. Of course it's 5 stars.
When it's sunny this is a wonderful place to relax, enjoy a refreshment and people watch. The restaurants that ring it charge a bit more, but there are a few that are worth it.
In the summer they hold a horse race in the piazza called "il Palio" which I have not seen but my girlfriend tells me is an event not to be missed. Every historic neighborhood in the city is represented in the race and each has their own colorful flag. The whole city comes out for this event which has been going on for hundreds of years. It's on July 2nd and August 16th every year--if you're going to be in Italy around this time you should check it out.
Review from Meaghan K.
Such a picturesque square in Italy. When I think back to Siena I think of sitting in the sunshine in the square people watching, seeing children chase birds, people eating gelato and dinners relaxing with a cup of coffee and their dog. I sat there and imagined the il Palio. I hope I make it back to Siena one day, not only to sit in the Piazza but to explore a little more around it.
Review from Tye J.
- 3 friends
Definitely the most beautiful place on earth in the most beautiful city of Italy Siena!
Everytime I visit Tuscany Siena and its Piazza del Campo is mandatory. A great atmosphere at the Torre del Manga, simply sitting or lying on the floor of the piazza, look at all the people, watch the sky, have a Sprizz in a bar or a pizza in the evening when all is illuminated. I want to go back immediately!
Review from David K.
- 10 friends
This is a stunning sight in sunshine. I have never seen it when the race is on, but can imagine what a fantastic spectacle this is.
For those who haven't seen it, this is a very well-designed public space where the Pallio is run annually. All the important medieval families are represented by a horse and rider and the crowd are incredibly partisan, with much shouting and flag-waving. The contestants race their horses around the outside of the Piazza with the crowd on the inside and hanging from surrounding windows. Not a place to be if you have a weak bladder!
Many of the buildings repay a visit with interest, but the most interesting is the Town Hall, which has some amazing frescoes. It is also possible to go onto the rooftop walks and see Sienna from a completely different perspective.
Review from Renee W.
I LOVE Siena! I LOVE Il Campo! Il Campo is one of the coolest piazzas that we visited during our trip to Italy. It is quite large with a lot of yummy restaurant options outlining it with a nice view and perfect for people watching. There's the usual trinket stands and tourist type stores but it is so beautiful. We enjoyed some pizza and cold beers after walking around and enjoyed people watching here. I'd love to go back!
Review from Qype User (Matthi…)
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- Qype User Matthi…
I have been to Siena a couple of times now, including a two-week stay for a language course, but the Piazza del Campo still amazes me like the first time I saw it, way back when I was twelve
If it is true that St Mark's square in Venice is a ballroom, as Napoleon claimed, then the Campo is a theatre showing life in all its different colours and shades. Three valley separate the three hills on which Siena is built and where they meet they form a large semi-circle, like an ancient Roman theatre, rising slightly so that you have a good view, wherever you stand, on the things going on and on the stunning ensemble surrounding the square. And it is really as an ensemble that the square works: The palazzi around it are nice enough, though you'd probably hard pressed to describe one afterwards. They do, however, together with the nine sections marked out on the square itself, lead your eyes down to the Palazzo Pubblico, massive, horizontal, only to discover its leaping up from it like fountain finishing in a white crown of marble.
Review from Mike K.
- 33 friends
Review from Valerie G.
- 90 friends
Continued from Travel Journal
Off to Sienna we go, two cars and a rough idea of how to get there, but we made it with all the winding roads to which we were becoming accustomed. The only downside was that the route our GPS gave us brought us through every hick town there was, and for some reason we kept running into train tracks where we would be stopped for 10 min waiting for a train of like 2-4 cars... Siena is beautiful and well worth the trip, we arrived, parked and called our other team to get a location to meet. It was rather easy and within minutes of arrival we were all sitting at yet another outdoor terrace. This one was overlooking the Piazza campo, which is this huge arena space. It is the place where an annual event called the Palio race takes place, it is a horse race and when you see the course it becomes very obvious that this is no simple race. The circle is sloped and not very wide, all surrounded by buildings. According to Brian and what we read this event is crazy with tonnes of spectators paying lots of money to view, as they race (and ultimately wipe out), the people watching cheer and throw flags at them to make thing even more challenging.
This restaurant was perfect as it was great place to try some appetizers, view the spectacular surroundings, make friends with our waiter Walter (who is a big traveler and plans to visit Montreal), and people watch. One of the things we enjoyed watching was a very funny street performer, we would pick unsuspecting people as they roamed around the circle. One of my favorite tricks was spraying them with a bottle of water, a small jet would get them on the head as they strolled past, when the person turned around to see where the water was coming from, he would look up as though he too had been sprayed, the gag was simple but it made everyone watching howl with laughter. Tim mentioned that all these gags would work well on Prince Arthur (in Montreal) and we speculated as to how many people actually got upset, while we watched only one women flipped him the bird about one of his gags and the poor woman was booed by all the onlookers.
Review from Qype User (jacque…)
Review from Qype User (social…)
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Sienna is a beautiful italian city with so much charm and culture, i love this area of sienna. Recently seen in the new james bond film the quantum of solace, it adds a new dimension to it when you see it on screen. The Piazza del Campo is so vast you just stand there taking it all in, Some of the buildings are centuries old and crumbling, it is hard to believe so much history happened here. A lovely place to wander around and soak it all up while eating ice cream. Bella!