Tuscany Tour: Siena

Sunday should mean fun day.   I can imagine for the rest of you lucky people, you might be blessed with longer sleep today.  It's the beginning of our work week. I would like to start  though by ending the Tuscany Tour series with the final destination from our Best of Tuscany Tours by  Walkabout Florence.  

Siena, is a medieval city, 70 km south of Florence.  The walled city is resting on three hills.  Our tour bus parked below the towering hill and I remember entering a passage tunnel with an escalator.  I can imagine, that's a lot of climbing steps otherwise.

We were led by a Siena local tour guide who gave us a very clear background of each and every site we went to.  We explored the city centre by walking.  The touristic sites are all spread out  unto the three hills and are only accessible on foot so lots of workout as most of the roads are inclined.  Hence, a lot of Italian locals are slim. Despite the amount of food they eat, they hardly get fat!  Old ladies are hiking up the steep slopes  pulling their grocery trolley without effort.  

Rich in history.  Siena was a proud and wealthy Gothic city which dates back during the medieval period.  Evident from the oldest bank in the world and  lot of rich habitants who dare not expose their wealth.

Part of the Palazzo Salimbeni - Bank Building with sculpted heads of important figures. 
 It's like they're saying, "We're watching you..."  I wouldn't really look up at it at night though. :)  The reflection of the heads on the windows across the street (below).

I love the louvered windows and well preserved historic buildings. 

This Italian Romanesque Cathedral is definitely a work of art.  The marble detail on the floor and well preserved frescoes inside were heavenly. The black and white stripes are uniquely prominent as we climbed those steep slopes to get there.

Duomo Cathedral
Lastly, the most popular site of all, Piazza del Campo.  A unique shell shaped piazza used twice a year on July 2 and August 16 as the race track for the famous 600 year-old Palio Horserace.  Learn more about Il Palio  here.

Piazza del Campo with  Gothic style Palazzo Pubblico, town hall of Siena
Cafe at Piazza del Campo
This coffee shop was our last stop. The trip ended with the tour bus driving us back to Florence Terminal Station.  We arrived at exactly 8:30 PM despite the weekend evening traffic, just in time to collect our luggage from the hotel to catch our first class night  train to Milan.  I dozed off during the ride.  The travel sleep masks from our flight deemed very useful. 

Wishing you a wonderful week!

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