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Siena - 2012 - Travel/Logistics
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With its narrow streets and steep alleys, a stunning Gothic duomo, a bounty of early Renaissance art, and the glorious Palazzo Pubblico overlooking its magnificent Piazza del Campo, Siena is often described as Italy's best-preserved medieval city. Victory over Florence in 1260 at Montaperti marked the beginning of Siena's golden age. During the following decades Siena erected its greatest buildings (including the Duomo); established a model city government presided over by the Council of Nine; and became a great art, textile, and trade center. Siena succumbed to Florentine rule in the mid-16th century, when a yearlong siege virtually eliminated the native population. Ironically, it was precisely this decline that, along with the steadfast pride of the Sienese, prevented further development, to which we owe the city's marvelous medieval condition today.

Although much looks as it did in the early 14th century, Siena is no museum. Walk through the streets and you can see that the medieval contrade, 17 neighborhoods into which the city has been historically divided, are a vibrant part of modern life. You may see symbols of the contrada—Tartuca (turtle), Oca (goose), Istrice (porcupine), Torre (tower)—emblazoned on banners and engraved on building walls. The Sienese still strongly identify themselves by the contrada where they were born and raised; loyalty and rivalry run deep. At no time is this more visible than during the centuries-old Palio, a twice-yearly horse race held in the Piazza del Campo, but you need not visit during the festival to come to know the rich culture and enchanting pleasures of Siena; those are evident at every step.

Siena is laid out like a "Y" along three ridges with deep valleys in between, effectively dividing the city into thirds, called Terzi. The Terzi are each drawn out along three main streets following the spines of those ridges. The southern arm, Terzo di San Martino, slopes gently down around Via Banchi di Sotto (and the various other names it picks up along the way). To the west is Terzo di Città (home to the Duomo and Pinacoteca), centered on Via di Città. Terzo di Camollia runs north around Via Banchi di Sopra. These three main streets meet at the north edge of Piazza del Campo, Siena's gorgeous scallop-shaped central square.

Siena welcomes her guests with the saying as it is written on the Porta Camollia: "Cor Magi tibi Seni pandit" (Siena opens her heart to you even more through this door).


Although it often looks and feels like a small Tuscan hill town, Siena truly is a city, and its sites are widely spread apart. Siena is a pedestrian–friendly city: here you walk because the historical district is closed to traffic. And don’t you think that you will get away easily because Siena is a small city: the historical centre is large, and filled with sloping streets. The locals are "trained hikers” from their first steps, but the tourists sometimes get "out of breath.” An ideal holiday: so many things to see, while keeping fit.The city does run minibuses, called pollicini (tel. 0577-204-246), which dip into the city center from 6am to 9pm. The line B services the Terzo di San Martino and out the Porta Pispini gate, as does bus no. 5 (there's also an N night bus on this route 9pm-1am). There are four lines A buses, differentiated by color. A pink goes around Terzo di San Martino (and out the Porta Romana gate), as does bus no. 2; A green and A yellow cover Terzo di Città (green from Porta Tufi to the Duomo, yellow from Porta San Marco to the Duomo); and A red takes care of the southerly part of Terzo di Camollia (from Piazza della Indipendenza out Porta Fontebranda).You can call for a radio taxi at tel. 0577-49-222 (7am-9pm only); they also queue at the train station and in town at Piazza Matteotti.

By Train
From Florence:
18 trains daily connect Siena with Florence, 14 of which are direct train (90 min.) with departures every hour from 8:10 to 20:10, and 4 requiring a change in Empoli (about 2 hours).
From Pisa:
30 trains daily connect Pisa to Siena, from 5:39 to 22:30, they all require a change in Empoli (about 2 hours).
From Rome:
12 trains daily connect Rome to Siena, from 05:58 to 20:15, they all require a change in Chiusi (Length 3 / 4 hours).

Siena railway station ( Piazza Fratelli Rosselli) is not downtown, but it is well linked to it (5 minutes) by the numerous orange buses or with fast and comfortable minibuses called Pollicini [Tom Thumbs]. You can get downtown by the escalators, 10 minutes to reach the historical center, in the "Terzo di Camollia" crossing Porta Camollia.

By Car
If you arrive by car your main route is the motorway Autostrada del Sole branch routes from the A1 Motorway Milan-Rome-Naples.

From Florence:
Exit Firenze Impruneta, then take the Florence-Siena Highway. Exit Siena Ovest and follow the signs for Centro, then Stadio. The soccer-ball signs take you to the stadium lot near the Church of San Domenico.

From Rome:
Exit Val di Chiana, and follow the SS326 west for 50km.

Siena is a pedestrian–friendly city: here you walk because the historical centre is closed to traffic: it is all Limited Traffic Zone [ZTL], with strict controls and steep fines. You must leave the car in the car parks just outside the city walls. All are well signposted, with locations just inside city gates Porta Tufi (the huge and popular Il Campo lot, though it's a 5 min. walk from Piazza del Campo), Porta San Marco near Il Duomo lot, Porta Ovile near San Francesco lot and Fontebranda near Santa Caterina lot with the escalators for the city centre; under the Fortezza (another large lot) and around La Lizza park the Stadio lot (the latter closed market Wed and soccer Sun); and at Piazza Amendola (just outside the northern gate Porta Camollia).

Siena parking (tel. 0577-22-871) is now coordinated, and all the lots charge 1.60€ per hour or 30€ per day and 74€ for three days.Hotel customers are allowed to drop bags off at their hotel before finding a place to park overnight. Every hotel has a discount deal the nearest lot for 5,00€ per day.

The Stazione lot, near the railway station charges 0,50€ for the first hour ad 2,00€ after the second hour and full-day.

You can park for free a bit farther away around the unguarded back (northwest) side of the Fortezza all week long. There's also free parking outside the southeast end of town at Due Ponti (beyond Porta Pispini) and Coroncina (beyond Porta Romana); from both you can get a pollicino (minibus) into the center, Piazza del Campo.

By Bus:
From Florence:
Bus station in front of the train station Santa Maria Novella, "linea rapida” (27 daily, 75 min.), "linea diretta” slower buses (10 daily; 95 min.) buses are faster than the train and let you off right in town. The bus station on Piazza Gramsci is downtown; the city buses, the intercity buses (blue) and the Sena (white) long distance buses leave from here. Many intercity buses stop at the railway station to allow connections.

Follow the signs to Siena's TRA-IN bus ticket office, underneath Piazza Gramsci in the Sottopassaggio la Lizza (tel. 0577-204-246 or 0577-204-225;, You can also get tickets for Tra-In buses or Sena buses at the train station (tel. 0577-204-245).

Siena is also connected with San Gimignano (hourly Mon-Sat; change in Poggibonsi; 55-65 min. not including layover), Volterra (three daily; change in Colle di Val d'Elsa; 40 min. each leg), Massa Marittima (three daily; 80 min.), Perugia (two to four daily; 85 min.), and Rome's Tiburtina station (five to seven daily; 2 hr., 47 min.).


MAP of Conference Location

Via Mattioli, 10, 53100 Siena
The University is one of Italy’s oldest. The earliest mentions of the Studio date back to 1240: unlike other universities (Bologna, Paris), it was financed by the Commune and the Studio was not born from the choice of students and masters. In fact, in 1260, the Podestà levied, by decree, a municipal tax on those who let lodgings to students: the proceeds financed the professors’ salaries. Schools of medicine, grammar, and law were already in place. In 1321 many students from the University of Bologna moved to Siena because of a conflict with the Podestà of Bologna. These are the salient phases of the rise of the Sienese university. Alternating times of decadence to others of strong expansion -tied to the city’s historical and political events- we come to our days and to one of the best (the first one according to a 2008 Censis study) Italian Universities. It has decentralises campuses, even in other provinces (Arezzo and Grosseto), nine Faculties, many programs, majors, post graduate programs, specialisations, research fields, scholarships, student residences, services.

Among the most innovative study programs, let us mention those in Environmental Economics and Economics of the Environment and Sustainable Tourism. Among specialised courses: Design of communication environments; Biodiversity, ecology, and environment; Chemistry for sustainable development; Geology for the territory, resources, and environment; Environmental monitoring and restoration.


Special offer: Discounted travel with Lufthansa

Lufthansa German Airlines offers a comprehensive global route network linking major cities around the world. As an airline partner, Lufthansa offers special prices and conditions to participants, visitors, exhibitors and invited guests as well as employees of ISTR and their travel companions.

To make a reservation, please click on and enter the access code USZPNB in the "Access to Event Booking" area. This will open an online booking platform that will automatically calculate the discount offered or provide you with an even better offer if another promotional fare is available.
NOTE: Pop-ups must be enabled otherwise the booking platform window will not open.

These promotional fares are also available through your any IATA / ARC registered Travel Agent. Travel agents can obtain ticketing instructions by sending an email to and providing the access code as a reference.



Vacanze Senesi Tour operator, founded in 1981, is specialized in the organisation of stays in Terre di Siena, the reservation of accommodations and other tourist services and the management of tourist offices. Our deep knowledge of the local offer enables us to create numerous proposals to satisfy every request, need or curiosity. We can provide quotations to satisfy all requests based on a careful selection of the suppliers to ensure unique and unforgettable holiday ideas.

Travellers, intermediaries and businesses can take advantage of a technical support to research and check the availability of accommodations, reserve organized packages and tourist services, structure itineraries and stays for group and students. Since 2002 the management of the tourist office of the APT Siena has enabled Vacanze Senesi to guarantee assistance 7 days a week. Moreover, on account of its location (Piazza del Campo) and its opening times it is always available for all kind of need of our customers.

Viale Curtatone
753100 Siena
Tel. 0039 0577 45900
Fax 0039 0577 283145


Applying for a Visa
Please be sure to check with your travel agent and or the Italian Embassy or Consulate to determine whether a visa is required for your entry into Italy. Most embassies and consulates around the world will allow people attending a conference in their country to enter with a tourist or visitor’s visa. Visa applications can be made in person or by mail. ISTR strongly encourages everyone to apply in person if possible, as the processing times are faster.

Foreign nationals intending to enter Italian territory must have the corresponding visitor’s visa if the nature of their nationality means they are required to do so. The required visa for entry into Italy is the Schengen Visa. The name "Schengen” originates from a small town in Luxembourg. In June 1985, seven European Union countries signed a treaty to end internal border checkpoints and controls.

Embassies and Consulates of Italy
For locations and contact information of Embassies and Consulates of Italy, please refer to the following website

Where there is no Italian diplomatic mission or consular office in a particular country, a transit or visitor’s visa can be requested from the diplomatic mission or consular office which represents Italy in that country. ISTR strongly recommends contacting the Embassy or Consulate for the most up-to-date and concise information.

Processing Times
Normal processing times for visas are two business days if the application is submitted in person, and one week plus mailing time if the application is submitted by mail. All participants are strongly encouraged to apply for their visas no less than 90 days in advance.


Letters of Invitation
For those who require a visa to allow their entry into Italy, ISTR is happy to provide a letter of invitation. To receive a letter of invitation, please send a written request, with your full name, address, organizational affiliation, fax number with dialing codes, and full passport details (passport number, issue and expiry dates, nationality, etc.).


These letters of invitation will only be sent when ISTR has received the delegate’s conference registration form and fee.

It can take up to three to four months to secure a visa; please allow ample time to secure your visa.

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