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10 Things to Do in Siena at Night

Siena has a reputation for being a quiet city, but there are plenty of things to enjoy in the evening, from wine tasting to live music.

Sonsoles Jimenez

Sonsoles Jimenez

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Siena at Night

Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank | ©Sean X Liu

Siena is a World Heritage City and has a spectacular architectural heritage, not to mention its festivals and traditions. It is a city where life is calm, but when night falls it is enveloped in a magical atmosphere that makes it especially attractive.

Spending a few hours exploring the city when the sun has gone down is one of the best things to do in Siena. You will discover one of the most beautiful sunsets you can imagine, traditions as deep-rooted as the aperitivo and a lively nightlife that you can enjoy in bars, pubs and some unique venues that you will only find in Siena.

1. Take a stroll to admire the illuminated city

Siena by Night| ©Skaja Lee
Siena by Night| ©Skaja Lee

Walking around Siena during the day is a delight. But walking around at nightfall is one of the best experiences you will take away from the city. The moment when the streets begin to empty is when you can really enjoy the medieval atmosphere that surrounds it.

Without the incessant comings and goings of people in the middle of the day you can discover charming corners that you may have missed before. It is also the ideal time to take the best pictures of your stay in the city. Therefore, my advice is to wander aimlessly through the old town.

In addition, the lighting in Siena has been specially designed to be welcoming and, above all, not to break the medieval flavor of the city. It is a warm lighting, reminiscent of torchlighting. If you are not too tired, set aside a couple of hours to let yourself be enveloped by this atmosphere.

And if you do not want to miss anything, you can always join one of the guided tours of Siena. Not only will you discover the charm of the city by night, but you will also be told countless stories, legends and anecdotes about Siena and its monuments.

Book a guided tour of Siena

2. Contemplate the most beautiful sunset over Siena

Sunset in Siena| ©saeta2
Sunset in Siena| ©saeta2

Sunsets in Tuscany are very special. The color of the olive groves, vineyards and cereal fields changes as the sun goes down. So does the color of the roofs of Siena. If you do not want to miss an unforgettable postcard, you just have to move a little away from the heart of the city. There are several places you can head to.

Orto dei Tolomei

The first place I recommend to watch the sunset over Siena is the Orto dei Tolomei. It is a charming garden, although it is not too well known. Nevertheless, from it you will have a magnificent panoramic view of the city, dominated by the silhouette of the Duomo.

This corner is very close to the Botanical Garden, right on the edge of the old town of Siena. But don't worry about the distance, it's just 600 meters away, about ten minutes walk from Piazza del Campo.

My advice is that if you have plans to visit Siena in one day, end the day in this place. It's perfect for relaxing and unwinding. And you just have to wait for the evening to fall to have the best finale of your visit to the city.

Church of Santa Maria dei Servi

If you are going to be in Siena for two days, I recommend you also go up to this place to watch the sunset. It is another of the privileged viewpoints of Siena. To get there you have to follow a nice path flanked by cypress trees and at the end you will discover beautiful views of the cathedral and the Palazzo Publico.

In addition, the church of Santa Maria dei Servi is one of the four basilicas that the city has and a must-see. It is also very close to the center of Siena, just a short walk of no more than ten minutes.

3. Start the evening with an aperitif at Banchi di Sopra

Banchi do sopra sign| ©Vanessa Tan
Banchi do sopra sign| ©Vanessa Tan

If it's early for dinner, you can dive into one of the most atmospheric places in Siena and take part in a very typical Italian custom: the aperitivo. It is taken when evening falls, usually before dinner, although it can perfectly replace dinner if you are not very hungry.

The Sienese have the custom of taking an afternoon stroll along Banchi di Sopra. This is one of the main arteries of the city and where some of its most significant buildings are concentrated. But when the monuments and stores close, its terraces and bars fill with people.

Banchi di Sopra and its surroundings are a good place to enjoy that aperitif that is synonymous with meeting and socializing. But there are many more, from Piazza del Campo to via San Pietro. In fact, it is in the historic center where you will find more animation and where you can have this snack until later.

What can you try? Typically you can order a glass of local wine or a spritz, which is a cocktail made with white wine and sparkling mineral water or tonic. With either of them you will have access to a buffet of tapas made with cold cuts and meats, but also salads and even pasta.

4. Taste the flavors of Tuscany in Piazza del Campo

Piazza del Campo by night| ©Allie_Caulfield
Piazza del Campo by night| ©Allie_Caulfield

The epicenter of Siena's nightlife is the always lively and crowded Piazza del Campo. A perfect idea is to recharge your batteries to face the night in one of its restaurants. You can rest and, incidentally, taste the excellent cuisine of Tuscany.

If the weather is good, I recommend sitting on one of the terraces that are installed in the square to immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful night postcards of Siena. If the weather is not good, you can always look for a charming establishment, it will not be difficult to find one.

In the square itself or in the surrounding streets there are from small osterias to quiet restaurants. If you want a quick bite to eat, Il Cencio offers some of the best paninis in Siena. And don't miss the view from its terrace, you will have the Piazza del Campo at your feet.

In case you feel like having a more substantial dinner, in any of the restaurants in the historical center you will be able to taste excellent meats. You can also try the gnudi, a kind of meatball made with spinach and sheep ricotta. Together with pici, a type of pasta typical of Siena, these are some of the dishes that are usually included in the gastronomic tours of Siena.

5. Taste the local wines around the Duomo

Siena Duomo by night| ©Vegansoldier
Siena Duomo by night| ©Vegansoldier

If you are one of those who can appreciate a good wine or you feel like knowing all the details of the rich wines of Tuscany, I suggest you take a walk around the vicinity of the cathedral at dusk. This area of Siena is the setting for some of Siena's wine tours. The reason is that a good number of wine bars are concentrated here.

Here you can have a typical aperitif or even accompany a light dinner with one of the wines of the Chianti Valley area. Some of these wine bars also organize wine tastings. This is a good plan if you feel like delving into the wine tradition of Tuscany and enjoy a different evening experience in Siena.

One of the most renowned wine bars is I Terzi. Here you have the opportunity to taste Chianti wines of extraordinary quality. You can also visit its cellar. And you don't have to hurry, the enoteca is open from 11:00 to 01:00. The Tirabusciò Winery or Trefilari, among others.

6. Immerse yourself in Siena's young nightlife

Siena Pub| ©Stefano
Siena Pub| ©Stefano

Siena is a university town, so a good atmosphere until the wee hours of the morning is guaranteed. If you prefer not to leave the historic center, in the area around Piazza del Campo there are a number of places where you can have a good time until late at night.

The nightlife is also varied. In the city you can enjoy both traditional establishments where you can have a quiet drink and others with a more sophisticated air where you can listen to rock or indie rhythms. Cocktail bars, Irish bars, breweries and, of course, discotheques shape the Sienese nightlife.

And there are establishments that are true classics in the city, such as Al Cambio or Caffè del Corso, very popular with young people. Bar Porrione, Robert the Bruce, Lirica Italiana or 115 Bar are other places where you can also have a drink and listen to good music. Some of them do not close until two in the morning.

If you prefer to go clubbing you will have to leave the city center. The best known: Figaroe Club, SottoSopra Club and, above all, Vanilla Disco Club, although this one is already quite far from Siena.

7. Discover the mysteries and legends of Siena

Ghost night in Siena| ©pbr42
Ghost night in Siena| ©pbr42

Siena has its own legends and stories full of mystery. The night is a perfect time to try to discover them. Some of them are really curious. Here are some clues. Look for the Via della Diana, between Piazza del Campo and the Duomo. In the stillness and silence of the night, do you feel something special?

Legends say that Diana is a subway river that runs through the city. It has not been found, but there are those who claim to have heard it. Neither have the ommicioli or fuggisioli been seen, duencecilli that live in the subsoil of Siena and cannot stand sunlight. Pay attention, maybe you'll be lucky and you'll see one coming out of its lair.

Another idea is to stroll around the city looking for statues or representations of the Capitoline She-wolf, the one that suckled Romulus and Remus. When the hustle and bustle of the streets relaxes it is easier to find them. Look especially at the tops of ancient columns and on some of the floors.

You are probably wondering why there are typically Roman images in Siena. This is another of the city's legends worth knowing. According to this one, Siena was founded by the sons of Remus: Senio and Ascanio, hence those depictions.

8. Have a little late night snack in an ice cream parlor or tea shop

Pasticceria Nannini| ©Hubert Lenartowicz
Pasticceria Nannini| ©Hubert Lenartowicz

If at the end of the day your body asks for something sweet, my advice is to direct your steps to Pasticceria Nannini, it is an institution in Siena and is open late into the night. Its sweets are delicious, perfect to accompany an authentic Italian coffee, if you like this drink. But if there is something you should not miss, it is their ice cream.

If the weather is not good and you prefer something hot, there is a really peculiar establishment in Siena: the Tea Room. Entering it is like stepping back in time, since it is a tea room inside a magnificent 15th century building. And it doesn't close until the wee hours of the morning.

Its stone arches, vaulted ceilings and antique furniture create a cozy atmosphere, ideal to end the day enjoying a relaxed and intimate place. Of course, you have more than a hundred different teas to choose from. But don't worry if you are not a fan of this drink, you can also taste local wines and cocktails.

9. Enjoy the best live music

Jazz Night| ©Arianna Gionchetta
Jazz Night| ©Arianna Gionchetta

For music lovers, Siena can be a real discovery. In the city there are countless nightclubs where you can listen to live music performances of all kinds. One of the most alternative venues is the Corte Dei Miracoli, a non-profit cultural association.

If you prefer jazz, Un Tubo is an entertainment venue that organizes sessions and concerts every week. You can also taste the delicious wines of the area. Cacio y Pere is also a good place to spend a pleasant musical evening, but in this case other styles can be found, from hip hop to rock.

It's not only about modern and contemporary styles. We are in Italy, so Siena is also a good place to enjoy classical music. Both the Teatro dei Rinnovati and the Teatro dei Rozzi offer an attractive program that includes opera and classical ballet.

10. Dining among the Tuscan vineyards

Tuscany by night| ©Alex Berger
Tuscany by night| ©Alex Berger

The Chianti Valley is one of Tuscany's great treasures, and Siena is the starting point for discovering it. Chianti is synonymous with endless fields of vineyards. And the grapes harvested here are used to produce one of the most famous wines in Italy, the one that bears the name of the valley.

One of the most interesting things to do in Siena is to get away from the city to watch the sunset over the hills dotted with vineyards. It is spectacular. And the perfect finishing touch is to participate in a wine tasting or, much better, to dine in one of the wineries in the area overlooking those unforgettable landscapes.

There are a good number of wineries that open to show visitors all the secrets in winemaking. So it is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the wine tradition around Siena. And it is also a great opportunity to enjoy a romantic moment, if you are visiting the city as a couple.