where to stay:
Palazzo Ravizza: The best mid-range hotel you will find within the cities walls, Palazzo Ravizza has been owned by the same family for more than two centuries and each room is decorated with frescos and Italian antiques. Filled with old world charm and thoughtfully decorated rooms, this hotel is certainly the choice during your stay in Siena. We recommend asking for a room facing the south side for a classic view of terraced gardens and the Tuscan countryside. A/C equipped, to keep you nice and cool on those hot summer days in Italy. Room pricing begins at $183 USD/night. http://www.palazzoravizza.it/en/
Villa Scacciapensieri: This villa was built in the green belt, north of the city center, at the beginning of the 19th century. Fronted by a formal garden and backed by olive groves descending to a swimming pool and tennis courts, it has charm in bagfuls; Attentive service from start to finish of your stay at the villa. Enjoy the peace and serenity at Villa Scacciapensieri each morning while sitting on your private balcony that overlooks the gardens, while enjoying a classic Italian espresso. This competitively priced villa is affordable for those who want an authentic experience in the Italian countryside with room pricing starting at $118 USD/night. http://www.villascacciapensieri.it/
where to eat:
Osteria Di Castelvecchio: Creative cuisine, at quite an affordable price. Good twists on local favorites. The affable owner serves primi such as risotto with artichokes and herbs, or pici in a rabbit sauce. There is is always a vegetarian main- course option as well. With subdued lighting and a charming interior, this restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic meal. We recommend trying the ribbolita.
Tre Cristi: Seafood restaurants are thin on the ground in this meat-obsessed region, so the long existence of Tre Cristi (it's been around since 1830) should be heartily celebrated. The menu here is as elegant as the decor, and touches such as a complimentary glass of prosecco (dry sparkling wine) at the start of the meal add to the experience. It may take some effort to find this hidden gem, tucked away from tourists. The cuisine is creative, Mediterranean in influence and famed for fish specialities - although the pasta with duck ragu and the lamb cutlets baked in pecorino cheese rinds are both stunning dishes.