Daily Archives: October 9, 2014

Siena again: The backways, up and down, and getting lost on foot

IMG_5153  We are arguing about which cab driver was the best – the bigger Mercedes today, or the littler car two days ago that took us on a fun-house ride better than Disney could provide. In any case, we have the way into Siena down pat.  From the train station we take a taxi into the old part of the city (the cathedral or the campo).  Rustling up a cab to get back after 4 pm is a little trickier, but we managed it both days.

Our new experience today was getting lost on foot.  You really can’t count on Italian road signs or guideposts to say the right thing.  You are going towards the Duomo, and you meet someone coming back your way who says, “I can’t find the Duomo.”  Uh-oh.  Soo, we took a tour of Siena on foot we wouldn’t have taken otherwise.  We saw teenagers pracIMG_5172ticing their flag-waving (the rhinocerouses and the mollusks (Jim says he hates the mollusks but really likes the turtles). There are 17 districts in Siena, each with a different mascot.

We also fell in love with a Sienese waitress today.  Both men were drooling, and possibly a woman or two. Bonell was able to get his favorite dish again – aubergine parmesan – and I was able to get pasta with a wild boar sauce – delicious.

We were all impressed with the art in the Baptistry and the Crypt.  No photos allowed in the Crypt, but you’ll see some photos of the Baptistry below.  Did you know, people IMG_5168 - Copycouldn’t attend Mass in the Cathedral until they had been baptized?  They went to a prayer service in the Baptistry instead.

We spend most of our evenings cooking, talking, eating, laughing and drinking wine.  Tonight was a delicious salad.

We do have some “out-takes” for private review, but I have not had enough wine to include them here.

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Monteriggioni

IMG_5008Ah, serendipity.  We were on our way to Volterra, when our Driver (Margaret) said “Hell with it, let’s go to Monteriggioni,” and turned off the road.  We thought it would be a two-hour detour at most.  Turns out this is the most charming little town, apparently undiscovered by Rick Steves, that we could possibly have imagined.  Excellent lunch with exotic wild boar and the worst wine so far (white was good though).  The osso bucco (marrow bone) was totally as good as I remembered.

In contrast to Siena, the Romanesque church is small and simple, just beautiful.  Nancy calls it “the city of cats.”  A bonus: we discovered the resident cat sleeping under a sign that said in two languages, “Do not touch. I am having some rest.  Thank you.”  No the cat was not dead.  We saw it flick an ear, and Margaret saw it get up and stretch.  It is cared for by the entire village.  Possibly it eats pigeons too – there are lots of those.  Anyway, he was not the lean and hungry type.

We loved the view from the hilltop and city walls.  We stayed the rest of the day.

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Pictures of Siena

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