2012 Trip #11 - Siena, Italy

07:23 Alyson Tart 1 Comments

When we planned our Italy getaway with our friends coming in town, we were ambitious. We decided on a road trip, stopping in Florence and Pisa, staying overnight and then hitting up Rome. In 3 days.

It seems that I not only forgot that there are only 24 hours in a day, but I also forgot that I hate car trips.

Once we arrive in Rome, pick up our rental car and make it out of the perilously cramped and teeny parking lot, this fact finally hits me. I realise that I do not, in fact, want to spend at extra 4 hours in the car that day to pose for a picture with the Leaning Tower. Florence? Eh, we will hit it up next time. All I could think about was getting out of the car and getting some Italian food into my stomach. At this point, the trip goes from action packed to relaxing and possibly lazy.

Best. Idea. EVER.

We arrived in Siena around lunchtime and checked in to the hotel. After an indulgent feast, we were ready to hit up the town. I really hadn't done much research before, and all I knew from a brief googling the night before was that we needed to check out the Duomo.

Luckily, the town is small and everything is in walking distance. After a 5 minute stroll to the Duomo, we promptly spent the next 3 hours (with a gelato break) investigating all the different parts of the cathedral.

First is the cathedral itself. The marble work inside is amazing, with multi-colored columns and intricate floor patterns. It is breathtaking, and leaves you wanting to tip toe around, not just to achieve respectful silence, but to avoid stepping and leaving a mark on the beautiful floors you are walking on.

What did I learn in Italian this week? Duomo is not actually
the name of this particular church. Duomo means
cathedral. So, we saw lots of Duomos on our trip.

Vaulted ceilings inside the cathedral

Intricate marbling on the floor

Next, is the Museum which includes access to the walls of the "new" church which they never quite finished. This offers panoramic views of the city and was worth the climb in the unusual and not exactly pleasant Italian summer heat.

Typical Italian countryside. I plan for my next (or first)
summer home to be here in Tuscany. 

After this, I was tired. Enter the first of many many gelato breaks on the trip.

Now we are re-energised and ready to go. On to the crypts! No, there are no dead bodies here, but it is interesting to see the old frescoes in here.

And last, but not least, is the baptistery. It reminds me of Istanbul's Chora Church with the ceilings depicting out stories from the Bible. The Duomo was smart enough to leave some mirrors around so that you don't have to crane your neck either to get a good look at the ceiling.

Beautiful tiled ceilings - each triangle tells
a different story
Baptismal Font - this is dedicated to
John the Baptist

After having conquered the only sight-seeing item we knew we had to see, we set out to roam the streets. We stopped in little art stores to find some local art, checked out pottery and finally ended up at dinner with more Italian food.

Siena was a perfect little Italian town to start our vacation in - just enough things to see, plenty of things to eat and lots of time to mosey around and relax.

Next stop - Montalcino.

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1 comment:

  1. wow what a trip! Another successful adventure
    We are looking forward to seeing you in October!