Friday, August 20th
We arrived in Siena…every American’s favorite place to go in Italy…called the “texture of Tuscany”. 800 years ago, Siena was bigger than Paris. In 1348,
a disastrous plague hit. The population today is the same as it was back then…60,000. Siena is the first European city to become car-free.
It seems as if we constantly have our mouths hanging open, in awe of the creations, fountains, churches. Looking at the creations is just one BIG event
after another. One of our stops was Il Campo. Its like one big Pioneer Square…only as it might have existed back in medieval times. Restaurants, men
playing jokes on unsuspecting tourists, and pigeons thrive at this square. We walked all over the city, and then some. We went to yet another Duomo and
even more Castles. We got lost a lot walking around in the 15 different neighborhoods that make up Siena. We kept going around and around on the
same streets. It’s the first time I’ve seen streets that are round.
We also went to the Fountain of Joy. Created in the 15th century. In the 19th century, it was discovered to be deteriorating. So it was dismantled and
plaster casts were made of the originals. Then replicas were made, restoring everything as if it were brand new. You can see some of the original pieces
paired with some of the restored pieces.
And of course we had to climb “Torre del
Mangia”…the City Tower. It is the tallest
secular tower from medieval times in Italy.
Siena was a proud town declaring its
independence from the church by having the
town revolve around this tower. And it had the
best views we’d seen so far. To say it got
skinny at the top was an understatement. 330
feet up. Phew.
We drank way too much wine
and missed the bus back to
our hotel (Hotel Sangallo
Park), so we had to take “un
tassi”. Mark decided we didn’
t need the map anymore and
threw it away, then freaked
out and went dumpster-diving
as he decided we really did
need the map. We were both
completely exhausted by this