Italy is famous for a lot of things
Italy’s famous for a lot of things, including Italian coffee. Only here can you get cappuccino in the place where it was invented, and espresso so strong it can knock you off your feet. As a smaller city, Siena’s a great place to become well acquainted with Italian coffee culture. Here's a list of some of my favorite cafes in Siena.
This bar is one of the busiest in Siena - you'll see locals and tourists alike constantly streaming in and out. The coffee is delicious, but the best part of Nannini is the pastries, which have been rated the best in Siena. I recommend anything filled with fresh cream - it is so fluffy and sweet that it puts the American equivalent to shame. Since there are few tables, this is the perfect place to have a morning brioche and cappuccino in the Italian style of standing at the bar rather than lounging in a seat.
This bar offers the best coffee in Siena by far. One sip reveals a complex and refined flavor that you can't get anywhere else. Coffee takes center stage here, which is perhaps why the bar itself is so small: there are no tables, and only a few people can be inside at once without overcrowding. So this bar must be approached in the Italian way - order your coffee, drink it quickly, and leave!
Cafe la Lizza
This is a great bar close to Piazza Gramschi, the main bus station in Siena. Its location makes it perfect for a quick morning coffee before a weekend departure. However, it also has plenty of seating, and becomes particularly popular in the evening. Many young Italians come here to share an aperitivo as the café takes on a lively nighttime feeling with loud dance music and colorful lighting.
Italians have a very different approach to cafes than Americans. Coffee is seen as something to be finished quickly, and the idea of spending hours in a cafe savoring your coffee whilst studying or reading is a foreign concept. Soul Caffe, fortunately, is one island of familiarity amidst the many bars in Siena. Seating is plentiful, free wifi is available, and the spacious, chic atmosphere will remind you of your favorite cafes in the US.
The Tea Room
I thought I would include this honorable mention even though it does not sell coffee - only tea! Italy is a very coffee-centric place, unlike many other European countries such as the UK, where tea is a daily staple. As a tea lover, this beautiful lounge in the heart of Siena is a welcome break from espresso. Only open in the evenings, the Tea Room offers every imaginable variety of tea, along with plenty of deserts. There is plenty of comfortable seating and sometimes live music. It’s a great place to relax and chat with friends.
Every café in Siena is unique and has something to offer, and I encourage future travelers to try as many as you can in order to find your favorite!
Museum Studies Student