Saturday, February 27, 2010


Last weekend I went to Siena! I kept changing my mind back and forth on whether or not I would go, since I still felt sort of sick and the weather forecast said it would rain all day. But in the end it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed, so I went for it. Three regional trains later, I arrived at Siena with Wendy, Caroline, and their friend Allison.

Here is the full photo album from the day:

Siena turned out to be TOTALLY worth getting up early, taking some Advil, and taking the long train ride. The weather was warm and sunny all day until late afternoon, after we had finished sight-seeing. From the train station, we walked towards the center of the city on foot instead of taking a bus. We had to ask for directions once or twice because the train station is sort of out of the way, but we found our way shortly after.

The first thing that struck me about Siena was how well-preserved all of the buildings were in the historic center of the city. This is partly due to the fact that Siena was the first European city to restrict automobile traffic in its main square (1966), and it seems to generally have good preservationist tendencies.

Below, enjoy the wonderful medieval style Piazza del Campo. Now imagine massive crowds of people gathered here during the summer for the Palio, Siena's traditional horse racing competition among the 17 contrade or neighborhoods.

We found a great little bar on the piazza where we grabbed some pizza and a drink, and we sat outside in the sun to enjoy our food. It was wonderful. And I was made especially happy after the man working behind the cash register told me I had a good northern Italian accent. Below, enjoying a gelato with Caroline:

The next stop on our tour was the Cathedral of Siena, or Duomo. This church is extremely rich and elegant, and on the inside you get the feeling that every square inch of material above, below, and around you is a priceless work of art....probably because it is. The exterior and interior:

We paid 10 euro for these passes that allowed us to not only see the Duomo, but also the adjacent Baptistery, museum, and crypt. From the museum one can access a tower that provides a soaring panorama of the city and the Tuscan landscape.

After we descended from the tower, it started to rain. The remainder of our day was spent running around in the rain looking a place to get cheap food and sample wine, then we took two trains and got back to Bologna.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this blog post. Also I can see this photo on the back of your autobiography someday...