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Siena, Italy!

Siena Travel Blog

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Il Campo

Today we had a day class field trip to the medieval town Siena!  I thought it was a really great city.  I read up a little about this city in Rick Steve's book the night before going here so I knew just a pinch about Siena when I got there.  Basically, it's a medieval town and once was comparable to Firenze (Florence) in size and power, but Siena's population has stayed to around 60,000 for a long time, and is still around the same pop. today.  Anyway, there's 3 major things to see in Siena:  Il Campo (the "fan" piazza), the Duomo (a medieval cathedral), and S. Dominica (Cathedral which houses St. Clare's head).  It's a pretty large city with little or no vegetation, only rooftops and tall buildings!  This is how most of the small tuscany cities have been like, as well.

the Duomo
  Siena, though, has an image, in my mind, of having a very, VERY dense number of buildings that are close to each other in varying heights.  They vary in height also because the town is perched upon an undulating landscape!  There are many steep walks along the pedestrian paths of Siena.  This town is also pedestrian dominated.  There are many narrow walkways and alleys between buildings that only people could fit through and there are bollards blocking off cars and scooters. 

First thing we did was walk from the tour bus stop to the city itself.  It was about a 7minute walk, I'd say.  We walked through the rooftop city until we reached Il Campo!  The fan-like piazza was really great to see!  I've seen it in pictures and books, but now I was really there and it was great!  It was still early morning at the time, maybe around 10am so most of the piazza was shaded.

Il Campo and the Tower Shadow!
  Me and friends sat and stood there for a while because we didn't know where to go since our tour guide was going to meet with us at 1:30pm, so we had some time to kill.  We wanted to walk up the tower of the City Hall building facing the piazza, but the line was taking too long. Instead we walked to the Duomo which is easily recognized by its white and green stripes.  The entire church is made of marble.  The rest of the city is made of brick, and some stone, I think.  After that quick walk to the Duomo, just to see the facade of the building, we had some pizza nearby for lunch.  1.30 euro for pizza with a topping or just 1 euro for a "margherita" slice which is basically plain cheese pizza. 

After that we walked back to Il Campo and Veronica, MattG, and I decided to climb the tower before our tour started!  The entrance fee was 7 euro and the experience was great!  The climb was craZy, comparable to me and Veronica's climb up the 5/6 flights of stairs just to get to our Rome hotel room.

View of Duomo from Tower
  Haha!  But, no, this climb up the tower was so far.  we made square turns all the way up the tower.  There were many places within the middle of the tower to stop and take pictures from a point, but we made our way to the top and found fascinating sights!  It was pretty scary at the couple of levels right before the VERY TOP because the open areas to view were at our feet, compared to the open areas of view that were at eye level at the very top of the tower.  We stayed there for probably a good 20 minutes or so.  Maybe longer, but it was fun taking pictures!  There were great views of Siena from the top of that tower.  I really liked the shadow of the tower casting over the piazza below.  It was pretty hard to climb back down the tower too because of the steepness of the stairs and the dizziness we'd get from winding our way back down!  Near the bottom of the tower one could get scared of enlosed spaces (i forgot the word for that) because of the narrowness of the steps and walls.
Standing on the TOp!

When we finally got back down from the tower, we met up with the rest of our classmates in the piazza to start our tour with the tour guide.  We learned more about Siena here and there during our walk with the tour guide.  We went to the Duomo again and this time went INSIDE for 3 euro to see what this medieval cathedral looked like.  It was very beautiful also, so very decorated inside with it's zebra striped columns.  I did enjoy the walk through the Duomo, but I was very tired (everyone was so tired today!) and I needed a good drink of cold water or a cold beverage, but I restrained myself at times from drinking too much because then I would need to go to a "W.C" (toilet) which is sometimes hard to find! 

So then we walked back to the S.

Inside Duomo
Dominica to see the head of St. Clare.  Kinda scary to see her, to be honest.  She was in a caged window... in front of her seats for prayer and candles for lighting.  SOME PEOPLE took binoculars to see her up close! (her head wasn't up close to where the candles were, she was placed further back in a lone room of the church so it wasn't as easy to see the aging of the head without binoculars). 

This basically concluded our trip to Siena.  We ended at around 4pm and the bus picked us up at 4:30pm to head home.  The last things we did there was go through a couple of souvenir shops and ended up not buying anything because we wanted to save it for the trip to MUNICH, GERMANY which starts TOMORROW!  We're going to Oktoberfest and doing some site seeing in Munich, as well.  See you later in a new blog of that trip coming up soon!

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Il Campo
Il Campo
the Duomo
the Duomo
Il Campo and the Tower Shadow!
Il Campo and the Tower Shadow!
View of Duomo from Tower
View of Duomo from Tower
Standing on the TOp!
Standing on the TOp!
Inside Duomo
Inside Duomo
Siena
photo by: Pearl510