Republic Day in Siena

Siena Travel Blog

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By the time we got on the road, it was pushing 11:00. I drove to Siena with Earl navigating. Siena is a fairly large town and, it being Republic Day, was pretty crowded. I really had no idea where I was going once I got into the city and lucked into a free parking lot that was just a couple of blocks from the Piazza del Campo, the main square.Unfortunately, it started to rain shortly after we arrived but we’d bought jackets and umbrellas based on the forecast. Rain from that point was on and off all day. Siena is not what I’d call beautiful (well, at least on a rainy day it isn't) but it does have a certain charm and we walked around quite a bit. Linda saw a sign for Santuario di Santa Caterina and, since the Roman Catholic church in our town of Moscow, PA is the church of St.
Catherine of Siena, we headed that way for a look. After that, we threaded our way through the narrow streets to the Duomo and took pictures of it from the square. However, there was a long line to get in and none of us wanted to see the interior that badly so we set off on a search for lunch - pizza at Ristorante alla Speranza. Lin and I had Quattro Formaggio and it was very good. While we were there, we saw a very funny man working the crowd. We’d seen him earlier but this time we got to watch him in earnest for quite a while. He had a red beret and a grey suit. Inside his suit jacket, he had a seemingly limitless supply of props that he used to prank unsuspecting passers by. Every time he really got someone, the whole crowd would go wild. For example… He’d come up behind someone and lightly touch their ear with a brush then look sharply away before they’d turn around. He had a police whistle and he’d start directing pedestrian traffic with great authority... and people would comply. He had a spritz bottle that he’d use to spray water over someone’s head from behind so they’d think the rain had resumed. When one lady put her umbrella back up, the crowd roared. He did all of this with a deadpan face except that his eyes really sparkled. He had many different "routines" and I could have watched him all day. He seemed to be having fun, too; his expression was deadpan but his eyes were sparkling.
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photo by: Pearl510