The first sentence in the guide book for Siena, which I picked up at the excellent tourist office in the Campo, says “Every city displays the effects of its vicissitudes, but in Siena they are more prominent and lasting, and their continuity is more explicit and sought after than elswhere.” If that doesn’t make you want to discover the city, then I don’t know what would.
There is nothing like just wandering around a gorgeous city like Siena with no particular agenda. You can’ t get lost, because you aren’t looking for anything in particular. I had done the walking tour previously and had been to the Duomo and Museums, so I just wandered aimlessly to see what I could see.
This delicious sweet is a small hard cake, filled with dried fruit. You should try it.
This place, in Via di Citta 93/95 sells salami, cheese and other delicious things, including porchetta, which they will slice for you and put on a slab of bread. Wander off to the nearby Campo, find a spot to sit and gaze at the passing parade.
They also have a tiny table outside the shop where you can stand and eat and enjoy a glass of wine.
This is all that was built of the church which was to be even bigger than the Duomo. The project was abandoned and the Duomo was completed instead.
Now you can climb to the top for a great view of the city. There was quite a queue, so it will have to wait until next time.
There were lots of young people wandering about with laurel wreaths, having just graduated from university. I imagine there would have been lots of celebrations in Siena that night.
I ate at this restaurant in Vicolo del Rustichetto, on a previous visit to Siena. It serves good traditional Italian fare.
Dante, second from the left keeping a stern eye on the Piazza Salimbeni. He always looks stern, it must have been heavy work sorting out the Italian language.
There are many restaurants and cafes surrounding the Campo, or you can do as I did and buy a slice of pizza for a couple of euro at a street behind the Campo, find a seat and dig in.
What a pity all drains are not as lovely as this.
The Fonte Gaia – Gay Fountain – was named because of the joyful celebrations at its inauguration. The fountain is an incomplete copy of the original by Jacopo della Quercia. The original is in the Palazzo Pubblico.
I met a delightful couple from Ohio called Paul and Barbara who were enjoying their first visit to Siena. We had a delicious tagliata di cinta senese – the special breed of pig, famous in the area – at Ristoratore Il Sasso in Via dei Rossi 2/A.