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LEARN ABOUT SIENA'S WATERWAYS AT THE SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA MUSEUM

Recently we've visited Siena's bottini, the city's underground water tunnels. My kids were impressed and so was I. Just that I didn't feel quite as relaxed as the two of them. The medieval tunnels are a narrow affair - especially if you're a bit of a claustrophobic.  

However, if you don't suffer from any major phobias and personality disorders, the bottini are a must see sight. Even more so if you're a geologist at heart (or just an adventurer by nature). This said, the visits are a little complicated to organize (only via previous reservation with the Diana association). 


Fontebranda, Siena's biggest and most important fountains
Fontebranda: fed entirely by the water arriving from the bottini. 

Therefore your best last minute option to get to know Siena's mysterious waterways may be with the weekly visits at the Santa Maria della Scala museum. This is also a good alternative if - just like me - you do indeed have the tendency to a couple of phobias. 

The guided tours at SMS will provide in sight in how a medieval city, which didn't have access to a river or lake, managed to thrive and survive thanks to a most intricate rain water collection system - all strictly underground! 

SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA MUSEUM -the impressive museum complex in front of the cathedral
Every Saturday at 10.30 am. Price 4€. Call beforehand to book your ticket: +39 0577 534511 (or just pass by on Saturday and see whether they happen to have a free slot). 

Visits are in Italian, but many of the guides of the Diana association speak some English. You may want to ask beforehand if they can translate part of the visit for you. However, it's interesting to walk along anyway, as you'll be able to visit areas of the SMS complex, which are normally not accessible to museum visitors. 

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