Archive | November 5, 2019

Oh Siena!

I was a little nervous about our travel arrangements from Vernazza to Siena. Mainly because I hadn’t made any.

Looking online it looked like we had to take four trains, three of which were regional and one an intercity express. And there didn’t seem to be many options. So if we missed connections …

But we didn’t. The trip was smooth. Though I do think our luggage was being cased to be snatched. So I made Mr S bring it to us.

More James Bond

This is turning into a Bond tour of Europe. Siena is the scene of one of the recent Bond films, Our taxi ride from the station to our accommodation was straight out of Bond. Narrow streets. Swerving past parked cars and pedestrians. Feeling like we were going at speed.

We had a huge climb to our apartment, which I picked because of the positive reviews; all of which mainly focusing on the views. And you don’t get views like this without a few stairs.

Mr S sitting on the verandah

Night view from the dining room

We ate lunch at a restaurant recommended by the AirBnB host. It was very nice. Then we wandered and wandered. Siena is perfect for just waking around.

One of the gazillion alleyways

The next morning we went to the weekly Wednesday markets. Where I bought a red leather jacket and a fake furry one. So soft!!!

Then we wandered into a church. Tried to find a fountain, but couldn’t so returned to our apartment to offload the jackets.

We found the fountain. The oldest one which was once the main source of water; now it is home to Japanese coy fish.

Outside the fountain. Originally had three levels – water for humans, next for washing, last for animals. The water cascaded down the levels

Water was so clear

Arched roof of the fountain

We visited the cathedral. The guide recommended we take the walk up the facade first as it was meant to being raining. A few small drops hinted that the rain was on its way so we went straight up. The facade was to be the extension to what is already a massive cathedral but the Black Death stopped the build. Amazing views of the town and countryside.

Unusual stripes in marble.

The museum was full of medieval illuminated manuscripts, paintings and statues. One room felt like a scene from Doctor Who. I am sure they were about to wake up. Like the people had been frozen mid-stare.

Don’t blink

Strange neck! What was the model trying to check out?

Mr S said he’s had enough of churches but he’d come in for me. I told him to just wait outside. He came in and was impressed. Majestic. Unusual with the stripes. Beautiful art work on the floors, walls and ceilings.

Mr S’s fav painting was the one of all the men showing off their flash gear, especially the one posing in his new tights.

Inside cathedral – looking up at the dome

One of the many artworks

Close up of the man with tights of which he is clearly proud

Cathedral ceiling

The stripes are repeated inside

Underneath the cathedral is medieval murals, which were lost for centuries. Absolutely amazing.

Of course, we visited the main piazza, scene of Bond’s chase while the famous horse race was taking place.

Instead of eating out, we went to a deli and bought up big. Marinated zucchinis. Marinated anchovies. Three types of cheese. Roast pork (or wild boar, we weren’t quite sure). Prosciutto from wild boar. Cherry tomatoes. Red wine. I was worried what it’d all add up to. Surprisingly less than half of the previous day’s lunch. And yummier. What a feast!

Time for a cuppa and a rest before we walked around with all the tourists who are staying in Siena (the day trippers have left) and the locals.

Back to our apartment for wine with a view.

Ah Siena!!!