“Siena International Photo Award is one of the photo contests with the highest international participation ever. 2016 edition has received nearly 50,000 images from amateur and professional photographers from 130 countries worldwide.”
Early Bird deadline: Sunday, January 15, 2017
I arrived in Siena, Italy early on a bright fall morning last October after taking a night train from Paris to Milan and Florence. I checked into an Airbnb flat near the train station and walked to the city center, passing through the medieval wall and up steep, winding cobblestone roads.
The sunny Tuscan town was buzzing with activity, but on a manageable scale. Siena, the historic center of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an amazing place. No vehicle traffic is allowed in the historic center. Siena is also home to the famous “Palio di Siena” horse race held at Piazza del Campo. And participating in the Siena International Photography Award (SIPA) Competition and/or the Siena Art Photo Travel Festival founded by Luca Venturi is a highly recommended way to see it and have a true cultural travel experience. Everything from the sights to the food (even Tuscan water is unbelievably good!) was outstanding. I met photographers from all around the world who came to enjoy the month-long festival opening and participate in the awards ceremony. See last year’s winners here: https://www.sipacontest.com/gallery/2016/
I can’t recommend Siena enough. I kept my budget under control by mixing restaurant meals with grocery store & specialty food (the cheese! the pizza! the wine! the bread!) shopping and walking everywhere. Did I mention pizza? The city’s museums are affordable, with money-saving passes are available. Siena residents are extremely friendly. A word of caution — don’t rely on mobile phone GPS to find your way. Just ask and you’ll be pointed in the right direction. But in a place like Siena, getting lost is part of the fun.