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Fontebranda is one of the medieval fountains of Siena, located in Terzo di Camollia, in the Contrada of Oca, near the Porta of Fontebranda. It is the most ancient and impressive fountain of Siena built in 1246. Fontebranda was essential not only because it provided water to the city, but also because it enabled the functioning of the mills and gave work to tanners and dyers of clothes.
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Fontebranda is also known as a romantic location for tourists. Many couples come here at night to make a wish. This could be one of the things to do at Fontebranda for you. Everyday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, if you walk under its vaults, you can hear the voices of Senese people from the medieval past with the help of a sound art installation. This is possible to a careful reconstruction of language and dialogues, now played by Senese actors. Another thing to do at Fontebranda is to watch an animated video, on a screen in front of the fountain. This animated video connects the characters to the famous fresco of Buongoverno by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. It is called “sound tourism” and is an original and interesting initiative: Siena is always on the cutting edge. If you want to know more, the municipality of Siena did a sound dépliant, “Fontebranda, the fountain that speaks”, in Italian and English, that explains all in details and includes a QR code with all the multimedia information: to see it you need a smartphone with QR reader. Take a nice tour here and enjoy the beauty.
Fontebranda is the ancient city fountain celebrated by Dante in the Divine Comedy. Starting in the Middle Ages, this was the area of craftsmen's workshops. Later it became the location of the public slaughter house. Now the space has been masterfully restored to house the first citadel of artisans' work, called SienArtefice. Master jewelers, glass makers, potters, printers, goldsmiths, ceramicists, typographers and other craftsmen work here, using the ancient techniques of Sienese tradition, pouring their passion for their craft into the works of their hands.
How to Get Tickets?
To do a day tour at Fontebranda, you do not have to pay admission. There is no entrance fee to enjoy a tour at this fountain. Just go and enjoy your day tour and take pictures for your Siena tour memory.
How To Get Around?
There is only one way to get around for a tour at Fontebranda: walking. The area is pedestrian-friendly, the historical center of town strictly prohibited automobiles and even bicycles. However, wheelchair and stroller are accessible in this area.
What Should I Wear?
Wear anything comfortable for your tour at Piazza del Campo. You will be walking a lot in this area and you probably would want to sit around, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Don't forget to bring sunscreen and sunglasses if you're visiting in summer.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to be in Siena is between May and October, when the weather is at its best. There is no particular time of when to visit for a tour at Fontebranda, this place is beautiful day and night. You won't be spending too much time here as well, since there are so many things to see around, so just make a one or two hours stop here whenever you walk past through it while in the city center.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, you won't need a guide when touring this area. It is located in the city center, there are signs everywhere and you can get around easily. It is better to do a self-guided tour, since you'll be able to embrace the beauty by yourself in your own time.
How To Get There?
Fontebranda is in a beautiful position in the valley under the church of Saint Domenico. The fountain can be viewed not only from the Cathedral on the opposite hill but it can easily be admired from different points of the city. You can reach it by going down Via Fontebranda from the city center or, if you park in the nearby Saint Caterina parking lot, you practically arrive directly in front of it as you walk towards the center. There are a few bust stops nearby if you take the bus. You just need to walk for 2 to 5 minutes to reach the fountain for a day tour and do the things to do at Fontebranda.