Many people have told me that Siena is one their favorite cities anywhere. And now it’s a favorite of mine, too! There’s so much history contained within this walled hill town that was once a financial, trading and pilgrimage capital of Europe. Medieval craftsmen hand laid stone and brick everywhere you look, building palazzos, cathedrals, towers, streets and walls. The hue of the local red/brown brick was the namesake for the color ‘Burnt Siena’. And today you see certain sense of art and whimsy here, too.
I’m told that most people come as a day-trip from Florence, but I’m visiting for two nights. It’s true that it’s a little like the cruise ships left when the sun goes down, but the partying doesn’t stop. Il Campo is the main plaza, and there is great people watching there, both day and night. I’d read that the city is built on three hills, and you definitely go both up and down to get from point to point. It’s pretty steep at times, good training for the walking and hiking tour I’ll join in two days. You dodge cars and motorbikes, but not too many. The city is closed to vehicles except for those of residents.
For friends who’ve asked why I’m never in a photo, here’s a ‘proof-of-life’ selfie. You can see that I’m traveling light, as usual, with just a small backpack and my little Rimowa roller. No food pics, but I’m thriving on a daily diet that includes excellent Chianti, pasta and gelato, not necessarily in that order.