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Travel: Siena Album

I left Pisa at about 4 PM, as I wanted to get to Siena before dark. I was spending the night at a medieval plantation house. From the Siena train station, I took a taxi to my hotel and passed through quaint, sleepy towns.

This is the town entrance where my hotel is located.

In the evening, I walked around the town and was impressed at how the brick houses were old but still functioning. It's interesting to know that when I spoke to the hotel manager, he said the houses were passed down from generation to generation, so the same family names have resided there for ages. The town's main source of livelihood is winemaking.

One of the vineyard plantations in the area. This is a common sight in Tuscany.

The next day, I took a bus back to Siena. Once I entered Siena, I was greeted by these dark and ancient buildings. I was amazed that people truly live in them. It felt like I walked into a different world, so far and removed from the modernity and world I knew.

Siena is a walking and friendly city. Here's how the streets look like, and I did took a couple of wrong turns. Getting lost in the town's maze like streets is a great part of the adventure because you get to know the city's secret nooks.
This is the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall). They said this is the best place to watch the Palio. (Palio is a horse race held twice each year, in which ten horses and riders, dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen city wards [Contrade].) I heard that this competition can get very intense. I still have to watch my first Palio.

The Piazza del Campo, Siena's central square. It felt like a beach without the sea. I mean, people were sunbathing there. This is a famous place to meet, hang-out, and eat. I mingled with folks there with a plate of Spaghetti Carbonara and a 2 euro soda. The center was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In Italy, a town or city's life revolves around its Duomo (cathedral). This is the Cathedral of Siena. I have no idea about architecture, but my guide book says this is an example of Italian romanesque architecture. The design is truly impressive.
This is a photo I took as I was approaching the Basilica of San Domenico. This church is quite simple and plain compared to the churches I've visited in Italy. What spooked me though, is that inside the cathedral, there's a chapel named after St. Catherine; and in the center, there's an altar housing the saint's head.
While in Siena, I met a number of Filipinos and it was a delight chatting with them. As we went our separate ways, we exchanged numbers and addresses. One of them, hoping that I'd marry his son in the Philippines. I just laughed and jokingly told her, "I'm not so sure about that." My visit to Siena was made memorable by the rich history of the city and wonderful people I met.

Our next trip will be Rome, The Eternal City.

Comments

  1. Wow! The pics amaze me, really glad you shared them, it seems as if I have traveled there too.

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  2. wow! magnificent structures! i love the doumo, the city hall, and the vineyard best! thank you sis, for taking us to this tour. :)

    looking forward to Rome... so it's true ha, all roads lead to Rome. hehe

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  3. wow! very nice old buildings, I love it!

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  4. That was literally maze-like. I'm interested to get in and around that ancient building. Kind of creepy but interesting. Thanks for sharing these photos. =)

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  5. Thanks for the tour. It was a delight looking at the pics.

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  6. nice, nice, nice! i hope to visit this place someday!

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  7. Yeah, the ancient buildings looked really spooky, and the narrow streets remind me of Baguio hehehe...

    Looking forward to Rome... About the offer of a husband, who knows? ;)

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  8. i'm glad you have all enjoyed the tour and photos. i'll try to post travel albums in the weekends.

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  9. amazing! it's like a page from history.

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  10. beautiful pictures!!!
    you make me want to visit rome kayni, and especially because i loved the movie, under the tuscan sky!

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  11. i love Tuscany, i'm thinking of going there again next spring, but i cannot seem to make up my mind, because we are also thinking or provence-- some say they are a bit similar? hmmm

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  12. Anna, Thanks for coming.

    Ms Firefly, Yes, I love that movie too. She was really gutsy buying a house in Italy especially with the language barrier and all. In the end, it all worked out to her advantage.

    Toni,I haven't been to Provence, but it would be nice if you could go and post pics...lol. I was intrigued by Tuscany, and I love how quiet and slow it was there in contrast to Rome's chaotic, loud, and busy atmosphere.

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  13. Inggit ako! I wanted to visit Tuscany while we were in Italy. One of my dream places. And it looks so nice in your pics! Haay...maybe next time!
    Anyway, they say there must be something that you'll go back to. :)

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  14. hi kg, yes, there's always something to go back too. i'm sure you'll find the time to visit tuscany too.

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  15. heehee. i remember when i had a confession at the vatican, the priest was kind of chatty and when he found out i was an architect, he began recommending places that i should see. one of those places was sienna, but we weren't able to go. daming pinoy sa italy no? ;-) i loved your story about the marriage offer. heehee.

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  16. caryn, yes, there are so many Filipinos in Italy. i was also amazed at their hospitality. they even bought me groceries, which i really appreciated. being student, it was a blessing that people who barely knew were looking after you.

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  17. Gosh! Im so happy to hear some people love the movie Under the Tuscan Sun! I thought I was the only one. That was the movie when I first met Tuscany. Beautiful!

    Hope you enjoy Rome! It's beautiful there! Ako marami pang babalikan dun!

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  18. kg, i loved the movie =) especially the location. that lady got guts going on her own to a country that doesn't speak her language. kudos to her.

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