Note to self: Don’t trust everything Google says.
I woke up early and caught the train to Siena this morning. After buying my ticket, I realised with 25 minutes to spare that I had left the kindle back at the apartment, so I raced back to get it otherwise that would have made for 3 long hours of travel. (Side note, I finished Harry Potter about 3 weeks too early, now I have to find something else to read, suggestions welcome!)
After initially arriving in Siena and having no idea how to get from the train station to the town, ending up in a shopping centre basement I honestly had no idea if I’d get out of or not, I found myself climbing up and endless amount of escalators that would lead to the town. The town as it turns out is perched a top a hill.
A short 10 minute walk later I finally entered the gates of the city (there is a surrounding perimeter wall) and seemingly stepped back in time. The storefronts and houses along the walk to the town seemed modern, once inside though it looks as though parts of the city haven’t been touched in centuries.
I walked around for a bit before climbing up Torre del Mangia for an uninterrupted 360° view of the city and surrounding hillside. This spiral staircase was worse than the Arc de Triomphe, I don’t suffer from claustrophobia and even I felt squeamish at times. There were points where I felt so cramped because the walls were so close to me on either side and I had to duck my head because the roof was so low, not very pleasant.
The climb was definitely worth it though, because the views were absolutely stunning.
Duomo sitting higher than the rest of the city.
Roof after roof in twisting maze like patterns.
And of course the beautiful countryside that seemed to stretch on forever.
And of course a dorky shameless selfie.
After I had another walk around, admiring the store fronts, cobblestoned streets and steep hills.
I stopped in to Osteria La Chiacchera for lunch and ordered the pici ragu and zuchinni and eggplant side. The pasta was so tasty, from the way the sauce clung to it, to its perfect al dente, or the fact that the beef melted in my mouth. The eggplant and zuchinni dish reminded me of a dish my grandmother makes at home, don’t worry yiayia, yours is more delicious!
Afterwards I bought the multipass that gave you access to the duomo, cript, baptistery and museum. The church was extremely large and beautiful on the inside, it and the museum had these amazing stained glass windows that I stared at for a very long time.
I still maintain that my favourite thing to do when inside a building/church in Italy is look up. The ceilings are absolutely amazing!!
One of the reasons I came to Siena is because they are known for their sweets. Google maps had said that 4 of the bakeries I wanted to go go were open. One after the other I got angrier and angrier as I found them all to be closed. Although you would have thought I knew by now that most things in Europe are closed on a Sunday. So I resorted to some sorbet instead and headed back to the train station, via the supermarket where I picked up my 2nd bottle of wine to take home.
After waiting 30 minutes for the train and it taking 2 hours because of a transfer I finally finished Harry Potter 7. I was quite sad to have finished so I got myself another gelato to cheer up. This one is literally right around the corner from my airbnb and it was really, really good! Pistachio, buontalenti and biscotti flavours.
Later in the evening I met up with some people I’d met on the walking tour a few days and we got All’antico vinao for dinner. I made my own this time – porchetta, pecorino, artichoke cream, spicy eggplant and tomato. It was delicious, but so bit I couldn’t finish it 😥
Last day in Florence and still a bit more food to try, hopefully I get to it all!
Buona notte xx