Ask someone who's been here and you'll hear "Ahh, Siena" in a dreamy voice.

Here, or Montepulciano is where most of our treks start when we travel to Italy. It's an easy connection from Rome, and its relaxed pace and vehicle free center is the perfect place to nurse our jet-lag.

The train drops you off at the station on the outskirts of the old town. It's walkable into the old city but with luggage - even our carryon - the 10 min inexpensive taxi ride is usually your choice. They will drop you off at the front door of your hotel. Taxis are allowed in the city center.

What to see in Siena? Siena!

Siena has no David, Colosseum or major museum. The charm of Siena is Siena. Both Florence and the plague kicked the snot out of Siena. So while other cities flourished Siena just remained well, Siena. Great for us and finally for the city. It's a marvelous place to wander, eat and photograph. Sitting in Il Campo ( the main plaza, where they run the Palio) watching the sun set is a perfect way to spend a warm Italian evening. Any Season. In the summer you can count on it being packed.

Evenings in Siena

The passeggiata - a stroll down the main street - is the perfect way to end a long travel day or a good start to an evening out.

Gallo Nero - the Black Rooster - is a fun place to dine. For a group or singles. They serve a medieval fare that is filled with unexpected flavors. The period garb, musical instruments and a few glasses of limoncello top off a fun evening.

The best views

Our favorite place to stay is Albergo Bernini. Mauro and his family run a clean, charming little hotel. And Mauro is amazing on his accordion. Albergo Bernini was always a favorite with our tour groups. Order a pizza or grab bread, cheese and wine at the market and dine on the patio - It comes with a spectacular Duomo view (it's the second photo down). Especially when the lights come on.

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A tip to add?

Found a good place to stay or eat in Siena? eMail us. We'll post a few below.