i LOVE sienna

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Siena which is about an hour away from Florence and it was amazing!! Whatever you picture in your mind Italy to be, Siena is IT! I don't even know where to start but here are some pictures... I took 200 pictures in 1 day! So it was hard to narrow down...

a monastery up on one of the hills we passed as we traveled from florence to sienna.

apparently, there are only three hermit monks left but there used to be one that lived in each of these 3 story apartments.
when there are no more monks left, this will probably be converted into a university.

part of the fortezza (fortress) that surrounds the middle of sienna.
notice the person standing on the right... this thing was huge!

view of siena.... notice the tower in the middle of the photo,
there is a close up coming up!!

Church of San Domenico
This church was built in the 13th century,
but after the death of Saint Catherine a chapel was added within the church to house her relic:
specifically, her head!!

Chapel of Saint Catherine in San Domenico

See that glowing face in the middle? That's supposedly Saint Catherine's head...

more cathedral...

sienna streets!!

sienna is a very hilly town with narrow streets.
the architecture of the buildings is beautiful!!
very well maintained city, everything looks like it was just cleaned!
and unlike florence, sienna has FRESH AIR....

entering the center of the city,
il campo!!
this is where the legendary horse races have been held for hundreds of years and are still held today. each of the 12 neighborhoods of sienna is represented by an animal,
and each of them get to put a horse in the race each year....

me! + the other 100 million tourists

more il campo

the spectators for the race fill the red brick area u see here.
the crowd is usually around 50,000 people!
the horses race around the perimeter for 3 laps...

cute little baby playing in the fountain!
italian kids are too cute...

this is the chapel built on/around the birthplace of St. Catherine.
her story is incredible.... look her up!
she definitely was one of the first feminist and way before her time!!

this goose represents the goose neighborhood...
it was just on the side of a home next to st. catherine's chapel

chapel bells + and interesting roof?

a gorgeous well....

moving along to the next amazing sight....

the duomo of siena!!
no where near the size of the Florence cathedral, but unbelieveably gorgeous.
unfortunately we didn't have time to go in but I heard its quite beautiful inside as well.
unfortunately the cupola (dome) was covered due to construction or cleaning... but the rest was stunning!!!

also when when walked into the plaza there was this guy playing the organ so the sound of it travel

more cute kiddies :)

These pictures are for my DADDY!!
There was a vintage car race starting up as we were heading to lunch in Il Campo.
I had to fight through the crowd to get these photos!! Hope you like! :)

this is where we ate lunch!
from the outside it looks just like an ordinay trattoria...
but then we went downstairs and its set up like a medieval dining area!

it was very pretty and the food was SO good...
i had pici ( a thick homemade long pasta) with garlic, tomatoes and basil.
it was delish!!

this is my academic director's daughter Tori, she's 7.
(chris is a guy in my program too)
she was too adorable and spent the whole day with us....
at lunch, when everybody else was drinking wine with our food, as they do with every meal in Italy.... she was like, "hey where's mine??" when glasses will be filled!!
that's not strange here in europe but it still was a trip to see a 7 year old drinking wine lol

we saw probably about 4 brides in the few hours we were in Sienna!
this was the best candid photo of this couple taking wedding photos...

This is the Sienna "mascot" of sorts, in the town hall...
Its a she-wolf suckling Romules and Remus from mythology...
I don't remember the whole story behind it....

Anyway, I can't say enough about Sienna... it was so much more than I expected and I didn't even show you guys all that we did in the short 4 hours we were there. I hope to go back before I leave Italy! I also went to San Gimignano today, but I have to put those pictures in another post tomorrow.... it was magical!!! haha


Creative spirit living & loving in Raleigh, NC.