On Wednesday morning we headed for Siena by bus (about an hour and a half away, return trip for 15 euros). I like going to different cities by bus as it allows you to see many beautiful things along the way! When we first got off the bus it was raining (as it said it would) however, my co-traveller Helen did a rain dance in the morning before we left and therefore we were all convinced the rain wouldn’t last! We headed for a cafe to get a pastry and warm drink as we waited for the rain to pass. Once we had finished the rain still hadn’t stopped and at that point it had started thundering. Being the keen travellers we are, we were still determined to see all that Siena had to offer. We ventured for the nearest tourism place to pick up a map and start planning the spots we wanted to see.
To be honest, I really didn’t know much about Siena prior to visiting besides the fact that it was beautiful and therefore we didn’t really have a plan of what we wanted to see. We walked into a fabulous square called Piazza del Campo, where horse racing used to take place (see photo, thanks to google images)! Within the square there were many restaurants, a lovely clock tower called Mangia Tower (more than 290 feet high and built in 1325!!), and a wishing fountain! After making a wish we continued to explore the city, tightly grasping our umbrellas and splashing through the puddles since our feet were already soaking. We did some shopping and noticed the large number of Italian food speciality shops that Siena has to offer. This was quite unique as we didn’t see any in Pisa or Florence. There also wasn’t much of a market whereas Pisa and Florence had very, very large markets. Early in the afternoon Helens rain dance worked and the rain went away and the sun came out!!
We then went to see the Siena Cathedral, also known as Duomo 2 (2nd to the Duomo in Florence). It is a medieval church and was completed in 1263, beginning in 1215. It was beautiful however, no comparison to Duomo in Florence as it was much larger and much more extravagant. We continued to walk around, shopping and taking in the glorious views Siena has to offer and stopping to enjoy a lunch of pesto pasta with gelato for dessert in Piazza del Campo.
We then boarded the bus back to Florence, from Florence we trained to our last city…Roma!
Random Facts about Siena:
- medieval like feel to the city
- many, many speciality Italian food shops
- not as touristy as the other destinations (could be due to the weather)
- not many tourist attractions to see but the entire city was beautiful, a good day trip