Saturday, November 10, 2012

Siena, Italy

Going to Siena was the highlight of my trip to Italy. We barely spent a day in the city but we fell in love with it the moment we stepped foot on its streets. Siena sits on top of a hill so it's windier and colder there than it was in Florence or Rome. There were fewer tourists too. The streets are old and narrow, and they wind up and down the hill like I imagined Tuscany to be. 

When the time comes for us to go back to Italy, I'd spend most of our vacation in Siena. I want to live there, even. The city's just more laid back than Florence and is certainly more serene than Rome. This is the place where celebrities go for their vacations. They wear huge sun glasses and sit in a corner coffee shop reading a magazine, and no one would be the wiser.

You'd think we'd choose a photo of the Cathedral or some historical landmark 
to remind us of our trip to Siena. I chose this instead. 
I love Siena's old streets and the fact that you can hang laundry off 
your window and the view still looks post card perfect. 
 (More pictures after the jump)

The Duomo di Siena is a fine example of Italian Gothic architecture.

Can you believe the detail on the Cathedral's facade?

The Duomo is made of black and white marble in stripes.
Have you ever seen a striped church? Here you go.

Inside the Duomo - still made of the black and white marble stripes.

The Cathedral is famous for its inlaid marble mosaic floor.
The entire floor of the Cathedral is covered in these fantastic marble mosaics.
It took 200 years and forty artists to come up with this wonder.
Shown here: The She-Wolf of Siena

Malik, Tita Puy bought you your Pinocchio book from the gift shop in the Cathedral.
Thanks, Puy!

Here's another one of the famous marble mosaics on the Cathedral's floor.
"The Slaughter of the Innocents," by Matteo di Giovanni

This is the ceiling of the Piccolomini Library adjoining the Cathedral.
The Library houses the books and manuscripts collections of Pope Pius II. 

Spot the tourists in this flower shop display window. 

A charming bag shop in Siena, which I did not enter by the way.
I'd already bought a bag from Florence that I loved.

Another one of my favorite photos. Narrow streets. Medieval charm. Perfection.

The Piazza del Campo, together with the Historic Center of Siena,  is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Piazza is regarded as one of  Europe's greatest Medieval squares.
The bi-annual horse rase, Palio di Siena, is held around the edges of the Piazza.

Instead of having coffee in a shop, we sat at the Piazza and people-watched.
This is the Torre del Mangia, towering above the Piazza del Campo.
At the time it was built (1330s) the Torre was one of the tallest Medieval towers in Italy.

Spotted at the Piazza.
Grandparents do what they do best the world over: Baby sit. 

This shop sold handpainted plates.
The shop had a sign that very distinctly read: "NOT made in China" :)

Even the walls of Siena's buildings are picture-worthy.
I will remember this forever.

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