Visiting Siena with children: between nature, science, art, Middle Ages and period trains
Both in Siena and its surroundings there are many activities and attractions suitable for a holiday with children. Whether you want to accompany them to discover nature, even through organized museums, or in the suggestive medieval world, made up of castles, horses and knights, this area of Tuscany offers more than one solution. In both cases, your visit to Siena with children will be fun and informative.
Museum of Natural History
The first place you could take your children is the Museum of Natural History in the Accademia dei Fisiocritici. The museum is located inside the headquarters of the Academy, in the former Monastery of Santa Mustiola which once belonged to the order of the Camaldolese, in Piazzetta Gigli 2. The Museum of Natural History is divided into four sections: geological, zoological, anatomy and botany.
The visit begins with the Geological section, where you can admire various minerals, fossils, rocks and paleontological collections. The large collection is exhibited with very accurate display cases and comes for the most part from donations made during the nineteenth century by scholars and naturalists. Among the exhibits, those most appreciated by children are undoubtedly those that make up the paleontological collections where you can admire the remains of animals that lived between the Pleistocene and the Pliocene, such as the mammoth.
The Zoological section is very rich above all thanks to the numerous donations received by the museum over the years. Here there are an infinite number of reconstructions, skeletons and specimens preserved in various ways. You can admire many species of birds, mammals, fish and insects.
The third section is the Anatomical section, for a journey to discover the human body. The section occupies the large room dedicated to the great anatomist Paolo Mascagni and exhibits petrified anatomical parts and illustrated tables.
Finally, there is the Botany section. Also built with collections acquired or donated by scholars and scientists over the centuries, it offers a vast review of plant species: leaves, herbs, seeds, fruits, roots, mushrooms, lichens and everything possible to get a complete overview of all these. species.
In addition to the four main sections, the museum also exhibits a series of “mirabilia”, or curious and surprising objects of all sorts.
For all information on timetables, I refer you to the official website of the museum.
The second place to visit with children is the Botanical Garden of Siena. Located in Via Mattioli, 4 at Porta Tufi, the Sienese Botanical Garden, was established in 1856 and then expanded several times over time. The garden is framed between the medieval walls of the city and develops on various levels with terraces that follow one another along the valley below. Inside there are many indigenous and even exotic plants.
A visit with the children will serve to educate them on the importance of greenery and will lead them to discover the beneficial effects of flora on different organisms. The world of plants, the biodiversity of the Tuscan territory and in particular of Siena, are among the themes of greatest interest proposed by the Botanical Garden. Surely your children will appreciate the various types of plants and flowers that can be admired in this beautiful garden.
Art museum for children
We close the tour in Siena with a visit to the Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex, in the heart of the historic center, right in front of the Duomo. The complex houses several museums including the Archaeological Museum and the Art museum for children. Both museums are perfect for a visit with the whole family. The Museum of Art for Children in particular is designed for children and aims to introduce and bring children closer to art through a targeted artistic collection and a series of educational activities and workshops.
Let’s leave science and nature aside to immerse ourselves in the era that more than any other is capable of making children dream: the Middle Ages. To take a dip in this magical era, full of legends and stories of ladies and knights, there cannot be a better place than Monteriggioni. Located a few kilometers from Siena, this village has everything you need to impress the little ones: solid walls, towers and battlements.
Here you can visit the Armor Museum and participate in the Medieval Festival: an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in a historical moment of great charm and importance for the city of Siena. The “Monteriggioni in Arme” museum houses reproductions of medieval and Renaissance weapons and armor. Surely your children will have fun visiting it and will be happy to touch and even try on the armor on display: everyone will get carried away by the imagination for a few moments, imagining that they are knights as in fairy tales.
The Medieval Festival Monteriggioni di Torri si Corona is one of the most characteristic events of Monteriggioni, where you can relive in an evocative and folklore-filled way atmospheres, colors and traditions that have their roots over the centuries. It is a riot of dances, songs, dances, music, theatrical performances and ancient flavors including tightrope walkers, games, minstrels and re-enactments of arts and crafts in typical costumes of the time.
Visit the surroundings of Siena on the vintage trains of the Treno Natura
The Treno Natura is a good opportunity to discover the wonderful Sienese countryside and admire breathtaking views between the Terre di Siena, the Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi. There are many itineraries that reach the most beautiful villages in the province of Siena such as Buonconvento, Asciano, San Quirico d’Orcia and Montalcino. Each trip is always combined with events, parties and village festivals. To make this experience truly special are the vintage trains used: littorine and steam trains that will literally drive your children crazy! An unusual and fun experience, to enjoy the nature of the province of Siena by taking a dip in the past.