Some of Tuscany's most beautiful areas lie immediately around Siena. Just think of San Gimignano, which is an easy bus ride away: the city whose towers have earned it the name of the "medieval Manhattan".
You should not miss a visit to the castle of Monteriggioni, which Dante described in his Divine Comedy. In Inferno 31, the great poet compares the outlines of the giants in the ninth circle of Hell to the circuit of walls that surrounds this Tuscan town: "però che come su la cerchia tonda / Montereggion di torri si corona, / così la proda che 'l pozzo circonda" (for as Monteriggioni's round wall is crowned with towers, so they [the giants] towered here above the bank that runs around the ditch). Buonconvento is an agricultural centre that emerged in the thirteenth century along the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage route that conducted and conducts pilgrims to Rome from western Europe. Finally, we recommend a trip around Asciano, which is characterised by the hills and ravines that make up the "lunar" landscape of the Crete Senesi. The colour of this area varies from blue to grey, thanks to the presence of clay mixed with halite and chalk. Among these undulating hills grows the precious white truffle, which has its own museum and an annual festival.