Day 61: Siena, Italy

Day 61: September 21st

We decided to make a day trip to Siena. It was only 90 min by train from Florence..perfect!

We got to Siena just before noon and decided to walk from the train station to the old city. I have to say, Siena’s train station is the most modern one that I have seen so far in Italy. I assume it was renovated recently. Very nice!

We made an early pit stop for lunch and the obligatory gelato in the old town and made our way to the main Duomo.

The Siena Cathedral (Duomo), begun in the 12th century, is just stunning. I know I’ve said this about all the cathedrals we have seen but this one is my favorite so far. It is what I would say is a typical Gothic cathedral. I read online, “It is unusual for a cathedral in that its axis runs north-south. This is because it was originally intended to be the largest cathedral in the world, with a north-south transept and an east-west nave. After the completion of the transept and the building of the east wall (which still exists and may be climbed by the public via an internal staircase) the money ran out and the rest of the cathedral was abandoned.” It is just beautiful…added to this was the fact that there weren’t as many tourists as in Florence. That made it more enjoyable.

We decided that we didn’t need to visit the museum here and made our way instead to the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the town square, which houses the Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia(bell tower) and is famous for hosting the Palio horse race.

Another coffee break later, I climbed up the bell tower to take in the views. Bill preferred to read for a bit in the cafe we were at. It had sweeping views of the entire piazza. It was a beautiful day!

As we made our way back to the train station we walked through a few back roads and came across a couple of churches one of which had a big wedding party taking pictures on the outside. It was beautiful.

We got back to Florence just after 8pm tired but happy. We now have Venice to look forward to.

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View from the Siena Train Station

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Street in Siena Old Town

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Old Town

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The Cathedral and the Duomo

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Close up

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Cathedral Altar

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Cathedral

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More than 400 steps to the top of that Bell Tower

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Siena in the background

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Duomo from the bell tower

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Stumbled on the church of San Francesco while walking around

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View of Piazza

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Old city walls

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Views of the valley

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