Siena is might not be the ultimate shopping destination you can think of. The territory is not even known for a specific product, as Venice, for instance is known for its Murano glass or Burano lace, or as Milan is known for its high fashion designer’s clothing. Shopping, however, presents itself with numerous opportunities you would better explore to the full in order to get that sense your stay in Siena is complete.
From delicious foodstuffs you can buy from boutiques and eat on the go, to ceramics, antiques, wines, clothing and whatnot, there is a lot to make your shopping day in Siena. Via di Citta, Banchi di Sopra and Via Dei Montanini are crammed with boutiques and shops selling stylish clothing and accessories, so you might want to explore these three thoroughfares in order to find something that matches and tastes and flatters your outfits.
Keep in mind sellers are very friendly, often making suggestions as to what might suit you better, making it easier for you to find the ideal clothing solution.
If shopping is, indeed, your ultimate vacation thrill, you might want to plan a stay in Siena either in July or in February: these are the times when everything is on sale, shopkeepers trying to get rid of the seasonal collections in order to make room to the new ones. Bargains are at every step, alluring you with discounts which range from 20% to 50% or even more.
Exploring the local markets you reward you with the opportunity to sample the flavors and colors of the territory. Stalls drips with fruit and vegetables, mouthwatering cheeses and baked goods to fill your heart with joy and taste buds with satisfaction.
If you come to Siena to splurge, one shopping venue you should not miss out is Antichita Monna Agnese. The shop sales all sorts of items that embellish the domestic environment, arranged in collections according to styles and historical periods. The branch across the street (Via di Citta 60) sells finely craft jewelry, so you might want to visit that too if you want to make a special gift or, why not, reward yourself with a stylish accessory.
A great venue to shop for souvenirs is Ceramiche Artistiche Santa Caterina. The family-run business has several shops (showrooms) along Via di Citta, where they display handmade ceramics. The objects are painted in the Sienese style with palettes that confine to black, white and reddish brown (the famed burnt sienna). The authenticity of the style is guaranteed by the background of the owner: Marcello Neri was schooled at the ceramics workshops on Montelupo Fiorentino, a pride of Tuscany’s ceramic art.
Never mind those designer’s clothes, shoes and accessories that yield the core of any respectable shopping destination. You do have some honorable opportunities in Siena in this respect, but wouldn’t you prefer to purchase something that actually catches the spirit of the place?
Tessuti a Mano, a shop kept by the talented Fioretta Bacci, suggests a different paradigm. Buy all sorts of accessories (from scarfs to hats) and clothing made of wool, cashmere, cotton and silk to remind you, in time, of your stay in Siena. All products are hand woven (this is exactly what tessuti a mano means) and are worth every penny. Reward yourself with the striking combinations of textures and colors that flatter your daily outfits, and enjoy the vintage accents the handmade items imprint on your style.
With a history that spans over a century of activity (it was founded in 1901), Consorzio Agrario Siena is a market-like venue from where locals buy fresh products and restaurant owners stock up with fabulous ingredients. Indeed, the venue features a fine selection of vegetables, pasta, wines, olive oils, truffles, mushrooms, hams, cheeses and whatever other agrarian delights you can think of, all produced locally or in the neighboring territory.
Cooked food is also available to the liking of customers who need to recharge batteries while shopping for fresh products to make the meal of the day. The Consorzio has recently opened an online platform for clients who like to shop directly from home.
Delight your inquisitive sweet tooth by visiting Antica Drogheria Manganelli. The place sells authentic panforte and ricciarelli almond cookies made according to elaborate own recipes. The tradition has begun in 1879, and since then the shop thrives due to the authenticity and quality of the products. Other goods are on sale, such as regional meats and vinegars.
Located just near the historical center of Siena, Pasticceria Bini is a dream come true for tourists driven by sugar cravings. Traditional delights are cooked here, including the crispy cavallucci (sweet spice biscuits), panforte, ricciarelli and the elaborate castagnaccio. In brief, the shop covers all that comes by title of dolce Senesi, being a dreamland for visitors who want to taste the sweet recipes of the territory.
Taking pride in being the oldest pasticceria in Siena, Pasticceria Nannini fills your hearts and the surroundings with flavors of sweet delights and coffee. A stop you cannot miss out if you look for a corner of tradition and authenticity in Siena’s sweet cuisine, if you decide to travel outside Siena to the picturesque Monteriggioni.