Skip to main content


An e-bike in front of the gate of a Tuscan villa
Villa Catignano: one of the many beautiful places an e-bike can get you to from Siena

A few years ago, I interviewed an American writer, who during her month-long stay in Siena whizzed through the city on a bicycle. This was an unusual sight - vespas are the two-wheelers of choice in Siena's hilly town center, not bikes like in mostly flat Florence. 

But the invention of e-bikes is about to change this. The city of Siena has installed an electric bike sharing program which is functioning well. However, it's mostly aimed at locals and residents, as its set-up is a little complicated for visitors who only stay a couple of days in town. Hence, for tourists, the best bike rental options in Siena are with the privately owned shops which supply bycicles of every size and type for a day or two or an entire week. 

Riding through the hills of the chianti
Giulia from cycling through the hills of Siena

Siena Bike Shop rents out racing bycicles, hybrid and e-bikes and is a great option if you plan to explore the beautiful countryside that surrounds the city. We recently did a day tour with friends following the route proposed by shop owner Massimiliano (he can supply a GPS if necessary). The tour took us from Siena through countryside roads lined by olive groves, vineyards and - of course - cypress trees. A stopover at the Chianti Sculpture Park is a great option for a picnic in the shade, or head to one of the many good restaurants in Vagliagli or Pianella. 

It was our first experience on an e-bike, but we'll be definitely back for more (and I'll remember to bring some proper cycling pants next time!). 


Where: in via Aretina, 35, just outside the town walls near porta Pispini). Best make a reservation in advance if you visit Siena in high-season (from Easter to October). 

Prices: E-bike and race bike rental 40€ per day. Hybrid and mountain bike rental 25€ per day. Lower rates apply for consecutive days - see price list here. 

Good to Know: Siena Bike Shop can drop off and pick up the bikes at your hotel or B&B in town for an extra 20€. 

Itineraries: Massimiliano is crazy about cycling and has great advice for road, mountain bike and e-bike tours around Siena and Tuscany for both pros or total amateurs (like me).

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.