Everyone that has been to Siena always say “I love Siena!” Now I know why! It has been on my list so we planned to take the bus from Florence there for the day. Julie’s knee was bothering her a little and since we have lots of travel ahead of us it seemed wise for her to lay low for the day and for me to go alone. Catching the bus was easy and in a little over an hour I was pulling in through the huge walls and on my way to what many think it the best square in all of Italy! Since I haven’t seen them all I can only agree it is beautiful and huge. Siena sits on three hills so much of the old town is hilly. The main square Il Campo is actually bowl shaped, and people lay on it as if it were a beach. Siena hasn’t changed much since the 1300’s and they take pride in keeping everything authentic.
Directly across from city hall is the Fountain of Joy. Very special to the Sienese people as a symbol of the blessing of water. It’s a copy of the original which is now in a museum there designed by Jacobo Della Quercia.
I planned to do Rick Steve’s walking tour of Siena and had downloaded it in advance. His APP is free and the walking tours are always excellent. It started in Il Campo so I started it there and was off. Siena has lots of beautiful tiny streets that are easy to wander into. As I said it’s quite hilly so that makes the walk even prettier.
One of the main sites to see is the beautiful Duomo and the walking tour took me right there. It looks similar to the one here in Florence - made from the same beautiful marble.
Time for lunch! I used a recommendation from Rick Steve’s and once again he was spot on. La Taverna Di Cecco was on a small quiet street and I got to sit outside and enjoy a delicious lunch peacefully.
On the walking tour Rick pointed out the Church of San Domenico. It houses the head - the actual head of St Catherine! So I figured how often do you get to see that, so headed there after lunch. The actual head is inside a clay mask but you can see her real teeth. Weird! They really love relics in Italy!
I browsed in a few of the shops and had to stop and get some of the famous ricciarelli cookies from Nannini. I had read about them and wanted to bring them back for Julie and I to try. They are like a chewy macaroon and almond cookie and they did not disappoint. Very cool old fashioned bakery and coffee shop. Lots of beautiful things to eat but I had to get the cookies.
That was my day in Siena! If you are ever in the Florence area it’s definitley worth a day or even two! Next up Tuscan cooking! Thanks for coming along!