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Kristen & Joe in Italy: Siena

After breakfast on the 7th, we checked out of our hotel and headed straight for the car rental company.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have any cars available at the moment so we jumped on the bust to Siena.  Once we got to Siena, we had to get a map to find the way to our hotel.  We found the checkin desk and soon realized that our room was still a solid 10 minute walk away.  We hoofed it to the building and up the 4 floors (there was no elevator in the building) to our room.  Did I mention the building had no air-conditioning?  In the middle of July in Italy.  Whew!  It was so nice to relax for a bit before going back out!

Siena is a cute little town.  It’s not as big as Rome, but it’s certainly bigger than some of the smaller villages we’ve been to.  Siena is famous for its Palio horserace held every summer in which 10 horses and riders run circles in the town square.  A total of 17 horses and riders, each representing a contrade (or district in Siena) participate in the race.  The race originated in the middle ages and it’s a REALLY big deal here.  The square it’s held in, Piazza del Campo, is a neat area to visit.  There are several good outdoor restraunts and museums in the area.

Another part of town to check out is the Duomo, or main cathedral, area.  Visiting the cathedral is a must-do in Siena.  I have never seen a cathedral quite like it.  The interior and outside is covered in white and greenish-black striped marble.  The inside is completely covered with inlaid mosaics covering the floor.  It is really beautiful.

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