Visiting Siena, Italy
Day 6 had two walk options and called for three maps to navigate, but both walks ended up on a road to take a public bus into Siena. (Sherpa even tells you to carry bus tickets with you for the ride.)
Started off on way-marked tracks (waymarks means there is red paint – blazes – or route numbers on trees, etc.) through Ebbio, (trip notes: “…. keep on up past the grey marble sculpture of an angel and a butterfly. The dogs may be noisy.”), Monte Morio on old mule paths, through thick forests that cover the Siena Hills, Fungaia (Sherpa said to look out for vipers here), finishing in S. Columba where we caught the bus to Siena. A red-letter day for us…didn’t get lost!
The bus station was an easy walk to the Hotel Minerva, our hotel for two nights.
The next day was reserved for sight-seeing around Siena. The motto inscribed above the Camollia Gate translates to, “Siena opens its heart even wider to you.” The City is set on three steep hills, and extensive walls surround it.
The black and white striped Cathedral can be seen for miles around.
Cathedral construction was begun in the 12th century, but not completed until the 14th century, interrupted by small things like the Plague, quarrels about the design, etc. The Campanile (belltower) is the most striking part – horizontal light and dark marble which makes those unusual stripes.
Next stop was the Piazza Del Campo, one of the most famous squares in the world. Picturesque streets lined with shops and restaurants lead to it. And even more restaurants and cafes circle the entire square.
During the “Palio delle Contrade”, the edge of the Piazza is covered with sand to form a race track. The race is held twice a year on July 2 and August 16 with great festivities.
Piazza Del Campo in Siena, Italy
There are too many restaurants to recommend, but we had a fabulous meal at Osteria Le Logge, just off the Campo. It took a bit of doing to even find this restaurant to make reservations (a must at the good ones), but worth it. Service was friendly, accommodating and our meal, excellent. Their menu had a wide variety to choose from, but Osteria is not inexpensive. FYI.
Having completely enjoyed Siena, our feet were ready to get on the road to Radda-in-Chianti….