Are you going to attend university of Siena? I guess you don’t know much about the city of Siena. Well, when I moved from Naples to Siena, I only knew one thing about it: the Palio horse race.
This is a beginner’s guide to Student life in Siena. Being a student myself, I know how it feels moving to a new city, which at first may seem terrifying.
Living abroad has some downsides but a lot of perks as well: becoming more independent, having a fresh start, making new friends and growing up on different levels. Student life in Siena is exciting, and the city is calm, student-friendly and not too big.
A PLACE TO SLEEP: After you have arrived to Siena, you need a place to rest, while you go house hunting. A good bargain is Hotel Borgo Grondaie, located near the Coop supermarket and near the station. According to your preferences, single rooms, double rooms and apartments are available.
HOUSE HUNTING: Avoid house agents. Instead, check out some Facebook groups such as “Affitti Siena” or “Affitti studenti Siena”, then choose the rooms or apartments you like the most and arrange a meeting with the landlord. Don’t underestimate the conditions of the apartment and the vibe you get from the lodgers. Trust me, it’s not nice living with people you do not talk to or spending a semester or a whole year in awful living conditions. Look out for basic appliances and the heating system.
WHERE IS MY FACULTY? To make it simple: most of Siena University Faculties are located in the city center but the scientific ones (located between Le Scotte and San Miniato); Siena University for Foreigners is outside the walls, opposite of the station. The faculties are well connected to the bus network. You can buy bus tickets at every tobacco shop, in Piazza Gramsci or at the station.
LIBRARIES: Each faculty has its own on-site library. In my opinion, the best one is the Economics Library, near the Church of San Francesco. If you need to borrow a book, there’s the Biblioteca degli Intronati, a 2 minutes walk from Piazza Salimbeni.
CANTEENS: Sant’Agata, Bandini or Stazione. The first two are in the city center, the second one is inside the Porta Siena Mall opposite the station.
SUPERMARKETS: The biggest one is Coop, 5 minutes from the station. Then there are PAM (Porta Siena), Simply and Conad inside the walls.
IF YOU WANT TO DO SPORTS: Both Siena University and Siena University for Foreigners students have special discounts for Mens Sana, the local gym.
WHERE TO EAT: Whether you want to spoil yourself or if you’re on a budget, Siena has many good and tasty restaurants, especially in Via Camollia and Piazza Mercato.
NIGHT LIFE: Student life may be hard sometimes. Let’s be honest: we all need a break every once in a while. Siena has a lot of lounge bars, especially in Via Pantaneto, where you can enjoy a nice aperitivo with your friends.
Siena is rich in history. As soon as you get to the city center, you will find yourself surrounded by the historic center (included among the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO) and its beautiful medieval architecture. Enjoy a break in Piazza del Campo and admire the stunning Palazzo Pubblico and the Tower. Speaking of the Tower, beware: there’s a popular belief that you will not graduate if you go up to its top.
So, to cut it short: good pasta (Pici), good cold cuts and cheese, top quality wine (Brunello and Chianti); mouthwatering pastry (Panforte and Ricciarelli); stunning city. These are the main features of Siena.
Good luck to future Sienese students.
Edited by Borgo Grondaie