Siena: Siena is a beautiful, medieval city surrounded by olive groves and Chianti vineyards. It has a 13th-century, fan-shaped square, Piazza del Campo. Each summer the famous Palio horse races take place right on this square. Overlooking it all is Siena’s tower, Torre del Mangia, rising 289 feet above the square giving way to stunning views of the Tuscan hillsides.
The first thing I wanted to do in this Tuscan walled city was climb the tower.
It wasn’t exactly an easy task: 500 narrow steps made of stone. Siena’s bell tower is the second tallest in Italy.
But I finally made it, and the views were even better than I ever imagined.
Siena’s Italian Gothic cathedral
The brick colors on the buildings and the similar colors in the rooftops give this place a unique feeling, like traveling back in time. It’s a city that hasn’t changed much in 800 years.
The square, one of the most beautiful squares in Tuscany, is at the city’s center and lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. In beach-like fashion, people lie down directly on the paved stone to admire the sky and the surrounding attractions.
We met a German flute player at the top of the tower that day. He was shooting a YouTube video. He isn’t smiling in this picture, but he was a very nice guy.
We spotted these flags decorating an entire neighborhood street in Siena. At the time we had no idea they were the symbol of the neighborhood winning the Paleo races for the last two years in a row.
The markets were picture perfect. I bought the most delicious cherries here.
Architecture in Siena. See more at this link: http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&l=en&id_site=717&gallery=1&&maxrows=48
It’s time to get to the Piazza del Campo to enjoy the afternoon.
We spent the day in a Fiat traveling through the hills of Tuscany stopping to taste the Chianti wine at local vineyards and touring a couple of hill towns. It was so much fun and we took so many pictures that I decided to dedicate an entire page to our day in Tuscany. Here’s a preview:
We made it back to the city to have dinner on the square. The tower is so pretty at twilight.
Streets in Siena get quiet pretty early. It’s a lovely time to take pictures.