Skip to main content


Matera has won the title of European Capital of Culture and even though we're disappointed in Tuscany, this is a well deserved victory. From the start of the competition Matera has been an eye-catcher. The bottom-up approach of its bid was impressive and once the city council married the idea of Matera's candidature (it had initially been born by a private group of people), the committee was swift in connecting the young and creative local scene to European and international forces.

Young people putting up wooden chairs and tables in front of the Madonna di Provenzano church
Hang on there, this party isn't over yet! #Siena2019

In regard to digital involvement Matera was the benchmark for the other Italian candidate cities with its great website and busy interaction on every possible social media channel from day one of the competition. But what must have been most important to the jury, Matera put together a soundproof bid book called 'Open Future/Open City', which has already started to infuse the people of the Basilicata (once mainly known as Italy's poorest region) with a new, open-minded and positive attitude to their future.  

But Siena, Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia and Ravenna aren't planning to pack up yet. In fact the party has only started. The six Italian candidate cities have been working together on #Italy2019, a project that supports the further development of the ideas and topics from all the 20 bidding Italian cities. 

Dario Franceschini, Italy's minister of culture and tourism congratulated Matera on its win, but also specified that the recently established #artbonus act will provide the shortlisted cities with means to realize some of the proposed projects in their bid books. Whilst Steve Green, head of the jury made up of seven European and six Italian experts, reaffirmed during the press conference that the jurors had been truly impressed by the thoroughness of each single bid book put together by Italy's six candidate cities. Last but not least Tuscany's governor Enrico Rossi has already confirmed the 40 million Euro that the region of Tuscany was planning to invest into #Siena2019. 

So, keep creating Siena! Tuscany and Italy at large are in dire need of your fresh and inspiring energy, and #Siena2019's thought-through concepts which rethink one-way tourism and revitalize the country's cultural life and economic output. 


Popular posts from this blog


Even if you came to Siena for art not shopping - it will be hard to resist all the leather bags, Italian shoes and designer sunglasses on via Montanini, Banchi di Sopra and Via di Città - the main roads making up Siena's corso or high street.  Pilgrims, merchants and the clergy travelling to Rome already did their shopping and money changing on these roads 800 years ago, so just follow in their footsteps for a break from the best museums  in town.  CLOTHES - ITALIAN FASHION A GOGO Many of the brand names and stores won't be new to you. Most of them can be found in every bigger Italian town, and some of them all over the world.  BENETTON: a must. No other Benetton store is looking anything like the one in Siena. Think  Renaissance building and frescoed ceilings .  TEZENIS, INTIMISSIMI, CALZEDONIA, YAMAMAY are Italy's main underwear chains for reduced budgets. If you travel with a teenager don't miss out on Tezenis (I'm far beyond


Planning to dine in style or just thinking of a panino on piazza del Campo? There is great food in Siena for every budget. Try the Tuscan delicacies prepared  with fresh local  ingredients by nice people in great locations and splash out on the wine list. SIENA'S BEST RESTAURANTS - Tuscan fine dine Tre Cristi Siena's oldest restaurant is also one of its best. Founded in 1830, restaurant Tre Cristi has kept its beautifully frescoed interiors but applies a light contemporary approach to ( otherwise often heavy)  Tuscan cooking. Some of the best seafood in town, Tre Cristi is also happy to cater to vegetarians .  Closed on Sundays. Vicolo Provenzano 1/7. Phone: +39 0577 280608 Email: Osteria Le Logge Even though Le Logge holds on to the osteria in its name, the restaurant off piazza del Campo in Siena's former ghetto is far from simple. Its elgeant location and refined makes of it one of  the most famous restaurants in Siena (Gianni Nannini is


Siena sports some of the most photographed sights in the world and you won't need a map to find them. But apart of piazza del Campo and the famous cathedral you'll be able to hunt down  countless lesser known  churches, museums and sunset spots which are off  the main tourist track. BEST PANORAMA VIEWS OF SIENA A nice sight in its own right, the walls of Siena's Medici fortress are also a great location for panorama shots which include the  San Domenico church, the cathedral and a big slice of Siena. For a close-up of the same panorama walk on to the rear side of  the  San Domenico  church, which is  de dicated to  Saint Catherine . Even without a fancy wide angle you'll be able to pack the cathedral its never finished extension and Torre del Mangia into one pick.