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Where, oh where is the hotel???

Siena Travel Blog

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Siena street, late evening.

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.

House along the Fontebranda, where we parked the car.
  Ooops, we're heading back toward Rome, turn around!  I'm sure we were in and out of several of the eight gates more than once, but never in the right gate.  Finally, after 2 hours of frustrated driving, we located the hotel, Etruria Piccolo (the entrance is NOT on the street, but down a little alley from the street) and dropped off our luggage. 

 

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.

Our "laundry room"
  Oh, look, there's one of the gates out of the Fortress, but we can't take that road, it goes back toward Rome; turn around.  Weren't we here once ... or thrice ... before???

 

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.

Carol in our room window.
  Shoot.  Had we known we were on camera each time we passed through a gate, we would've waved!  And I'm sure the polizia were commenting, "There are those two crazy ladies AGAIN!"  The hotels notify the authorities how long it takes guests to get in and back out, so we avoided getting tickets for all those trips in and out ... and in and out ... of the Fortress.

 

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.

Ginger in our room window.
  We could tell they headed down into the Campo (the town square) a block from our hotel, where they paraded around to the beat of the drums, singing their hearts out.  By midnight, all is quiet again, thank goodness.

 

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.

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Siena street, late evening.
Siena street, late evening.
House along the Fontebranda, where…
House along the Fontebranda, wher…
Our laundry room
Our "laundry room"
Carol in our room window.
Carol in our room window.
Ginger in our room window.
Ginger in our room window.
Siena
photo by: Pearl510