Torrita di Siena (Siena)

Image showing a red brick Tuscan hill town showing tall narrow buildings and narrow streets with contrada flags flying from the fronts of buildings

The Hill Town Torrita di Siena is a pretty, red brick medieval hill town with a real-life vibe away from the crowds.

Image showing the bell tower and red brick walls in the central square of torrita di siena Image showing the Palazzo communale or town hall in Torrita di Siena, a red brick medieval building with tall clock tower and flags out front

Torrita di Siena ‘Little Tower Of Siena’ feels very Sienese. It is not actually our nearest town (that would be Sinalunga, we see it from the house) but it is ‘our’ town in being the centre of the ‘Commune of Torrita di Siena’.  And so when we were restoring the house, and when we were married it was there that our plans were approved (or not) and there that our civil ceremony was held.

Image of an unspoilt hill town in tuscany showing the town houses in red brick with shuttered windows and the laundry hanging out to dry from balconies in the distance fields and olive grovesImage showing a Valdichiana Tuscan hill town chapel with potted Geraniums outside

I was there briefly this morning, having had a wedding enquiry and going in to the town hall to find out the answer to the couple’s questions. I had left our 6 month old baby napping, and so was in a bit of a rush. I have boosted the images to bring out the reds that get bleached out by the high sun late morning.

Image showing a fresco of angel and cherub in torrita di siena val di chiana Image showing a lovely tuscan hill town with red and golden streets iron lamps flags arches

Snapping madly in all directions as my flip flops were giving way under my feet and I scrambled around to get all of my little administration jobs done before Henry woke up I was struck by the deep reds of the brick work and the total absence of tourists… what has happened?

Image of the view through the city gate of a medieval hill town in tuscany Image showing a little yellow street cleaning cart parked in a tuscan hill town street in the shade with hand made traditional besom brooms

Granted, Torrita has zero souvenir shops and has always been very much a real life place, there have never been many tourists but surely one or two intrepid types who like to head out searching for that elusive ‘Real’ living Tuscany away from the crowds were here and there all Summer long.  But this morning so quiet…

Image showing the 'front' of a Tuscan hill town Torrita di Siena showing high red brick walls shuttered windows bar outside the walls and cedar tree in the foreground Image showing a red brick Sienese hill town wall with contrada flags in the foreground and terracotta roof tiles in the back ground

So I popped into the spotless ‘pro loco’ pro-local tourist office to ask them how things were going … crisis apparently, very few tourists around this year.  Big changes in Tuscany since the Trip Advisor Overall Tuscany ranking changed (disappeared) and was replaced by 200 odd different zones… have you heard of Trip Advisor I asked Guiseppe?

No!, he said….hmmm, I said, that might be one of the problems.

Image showing Etruscan looking carved sheep insignia in a tuscan hill town wall in Valdichiana

Since 2013 countryside areas are falling off the map in Trip Advisor terms, we don’t have large numbers of hotel rooms or numbers of tourists to talk about us, and so like a snake that eats it’s own tail the zones with more reviews generate more visitors and the zones with fewer reviews – get fewer visitors…So whilst Trip Advisor is certainly a brilliant way to double check on places that you’ve chosen to visit it may not be the optimal tool for discovering more ‘secret’ areas of Tuscany with lower visitor numbers.

Typical Image showing the narrow streets of a pretty tuscan hill town in the valdichiana

But that’s what you’re looking for, right? – so how do you expect to find a sweet red brick Tuscan hill town full of locals going about their daily lives if you are following the crowd ? –

Image showing a priest walking in a Tuscan hill town with large dark wood reinforced doors behind him in a red brick wall the priest is carrying a set of keys and appears to be in a hurry Image showing red brick built tuscan hill town in the province of siena with wall detailing and shuttered windows

Now back to Torrita di Siena.  Perfect for a local feel, a taste of that elusive Real Tuscany.  I need to get back to my baby who is crying…

Image showing the red brick walls and details in a typical val di chiana hill town torrita di siena Image showing a priest in robes walking in a Tuscan Hill Town

  • Why Visit
  • The journey to
  • Park
  • When to go
  • What’s it known for
  • Don’t miss
  • How long do you need
  • Itinerary

Siena House is a boutique hotel in Tuscany with British owners.  We write and photograph Tuscany year round as a resource for our guests publishing our insider guide to Tuscany and our blog, Tuscany Reportage.