Where, oh where is the hotel???
Siena Travel Blog› entry 6 of 24 › view all entries
Driving inside the Fortress is not for the faint of heart. Because all the streets are narrow, most are one-way, and of course, there is no logic to where streets go, or don't go. We had stopped at the tourist information office and gotten a map showing how to get to the hotel, but since street signs were very rare, we quickly got lost. At one point, we were on the next street over from our hotel, but we couldn't get there from here! And of course, we ended up going down a one-way street the wrong way, which a local polizia was kind enough to inform us while he motioned us to back up. Which street are we on? I can't find that name on the map! There is a positive dearth of street signs! Oh, look, there's one of the gates to the Fortress, let's go out, follow the wall around to the proper gate, and come in that way.
Since only residents can park inside the Fortress, we had to take the car back out and find an overnight parking space. We received instructions from the desk lady about getting out of the Fortress and finding free parking, only a 10 minute walk back to the hotel. Ooops, weren't we supposed to turn back there? But we can't get back there from here, and it's more wandering around trying to find our way out the proper gate.
We eventually found the proper street, even found a parking spot. Then we hiked back UP the hill to the hotel, which was more like a 20-minute hike than 10. (We later discovered an escalator from a paid parking lot that took us up most of the way.) It was now 7:30, we're frazzled, worn out, frustrated, and starving. The hotel clerk wanted to know at what time did we enter the Fortress for the first time. Seems the polizia have cameras on all the gates, and as it's forbidden to park inside the Fortress unless you reside there, they keep tabs on all other cars for ticketing purposes.
After checking in and getting to our room, we headed for the closest restaurant for dinner, then back to the hotel where we fell into bed ... only to be awakened at 11:10 by drums! They're on the street outside the hotel! We couldn't see anything from our window as it looked out onto the alley, but we could hear them. Then male voices broke into song.
Our room was comfortable, as were the beds. The bathroom was long and narrow, and there were windows in both the bath and the bedroom. There was no wasted space in the bath, but we did manage to rig our clothesline for our laundry.