Sunday, October 16, 2016

On to Siena

So when we got the car in Florence it was time to start the roadtrip portion of our Italian trip.  The first step was to find a road to Siena.  We found a way to Siena but it wasn't the road we expected.  We aren't usually so inept but maybe we were simply excited.  However, Siena was quite lovely. 

We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of the city.  These hill towns have been here for a long time and are basically pedestrian only places.  My wife wasn't feeling well so the first day in Siena I went into town on my own; the second day we went back together.  Siena isn't a huge city so walking around the town is no hardship.  There is parking outside the city wall so we would drive into town, park then walk.  Even the scooter riders are on foot.
Once in the town the piazza known as Il Campo is the first star of the place.  It is a huge space shaped like the letter D with restaurants and shops all around the circular parts and the Palazzo Pubblico and Museo Civico forming the straight portion.  It is in a natural depression so you walk along the street then descend into the piazza.  My photo here doesn't do real justice to the fact you are descending a couple flights here.  On the right you can see the tables of a streetside restaurant that are built out on little patio things.

Every summer there are horse races in Il Campo.  The various parts of the city sponsor different horses and while it looks pretty wild apparently a good time is had by all.  We were having lunch at one of those tables when a huge parade of drummers and flag wavers came by.  We think they were associated with one of the winning horses.  My wife took the photos so I managed to get into one or two of them.
As you can see, they are going down to Il Campo.  There had to be 30-40 drummers and an equal number of flag wavers.  Many of the participants were teens and young 20's in age but there were some who were maybe 10 and others who were closer to 60. 

They were headed for Il Campo.  This photo shows the restaurants lining the semi-circular portion of the space.
This is the museum on the flat side of the D.  This view is coming down the hill and is only part of the building. 

Of course every Italian city needs to have a cathedral.  The Siena Duomo is obviously very fine.

Finally, of course, Siena is in Tuscany.  Every movie you've ever seen about Tuscany talks about the beautiful countryside.  It's true, it is beautiful.  Even the view from our hotel pool area wasn't too shabby.
Now it was time to be leaving Siena.  Our first stop was to be Pisa.  I don't know enough about Pisa to really talk intelligently about it.  But you have to check out the leaning tower.  BTY, you won't be alone.

The Duomo doesn't get nearly the attention but it is a massive structure!  The tower is just hiding back there.
We saw the tower, saw the Duomo; it must be time to head north along the coast.  We aren't going to anyplace particularly famous.  We just want to enjoy Italy.  There will be more.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a good one.

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