Whilst the media keeps highlighting Italy's dwindling economy and the need for thorough budget cuts, it's heartening to see that Siena's autumn event calendar looks more exciting than ever. A few months ago Pier Luigi Sacco - the head of Siena 2019 - mentioned in our interview, that a (financial) crisis can be the ideal turf for change. It looks like he may be right.  

November in Siena normally means a massive drop in number of tourists combined with an utter lack of things to see and do. For a change the start of low season coincides, yes, with the end of the tour group assault, but for once doesn't ring in the end of the cultural season in town. 

Don't you worry about the weather. There's plenty to do in Siena in November.


The ever busy SIENA ART INSTITUTE just opened ABOVE / BELOW GROUND, an exhibition at the natural history museum, which is a joint venture between artists Mark Dion, Amy Yoes and their students, Siena's university and the Fondazione Musei Senesi (Siena's museum foundation). 
The Siena Art Institute also continues its weekly StARTers artist talks all through winter (many of them in English). 
Free entrance to the beautiful natural history museum from Monday to Friday and to the artists talks on Tuesday nights. 

SALONCINO at the crypt of Siena's cathedral

If you want to freshen up your Italian check out the monthly lectures organized by the OPA museum from November to April. The in-depth talks about the artworks in and around Siena's cathedral are about to revitalize a lost 18th century tradition. The Saloncino takes its name from past literary meetings of a group of educated Sienese with Vittorio Alfieri, a famous writer from Piedmont. The modern day talks will take place on selected Sunday afternoons in the re-discovered crypt below Siena's cathedral.

Next Sunday (13/11), the first talk of the series will focus on the meaning and symbolism hidden in the 7 Ages of Mankind, one of the famous marble intarsias of Siena's cathedral floor.  

Il Saloncino - un tè all'Opera: at four pm on Sunday afternoons. Price for the expert talks is 7€ including the tasting of a fine selection of green teas. 

SETTE NOTI IN SETTE NOTTI (Seven notes in seven nights)

Siena's new administration is trying hard to help the Santa Maria della Scala museum complex back on its feet. Shaken by the Monte dei Paschi debacle, the museum complex is not just a fascinating exhibition space, but also a perfect location for events and happenings. This winter seven concerts will take place at the monumental Renaissance building. Each of them with background info about the SMS (in Italian), and a wine tasting with producers from some of Tuscany's most interesting wine growing areas. 
Sette Note in Settte Notti, 6€ including the tasting. November to December 2013
Also make sure you catch photographer Steve McCurry's exhibition at the SMS, which has been prolonged until the 6th of January. 


Students and musicians of the Siena Jazz Foundation aren't just playing at the above event, but also co-organize jam sessions at two of Siena's most enterprising bars. Un Tubo and Caccio & Pere insist on putting on funky events even at a time of the season when most Tuscans spend their nights at home roasting chestnuts in front of the warm fireplace. 
For details check out the concert agenda on Siena's 'time out' magazine Il Parere


L'Enoteca Italiana - Siena's best looking location for wine tastings - will exhibit works by artist Sara Cafarelli. The Siena born artist and member of the giraffa neighborhood has had the honor to exhibit one of her paintings at the MoMa in the past. 
Soul Mesc opens on Saturday 16th of November at the Enoteca Italiana (the wine bar inside the Medici fortress). The show can be visited until November 30 from 12 pm to midnight with a glass of wine in hand. Closed on Sundays. 

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