Siena, Italy

October 31st, 2004

Siena Streets

Thursday and Friday was spent in Rome. We ended up leaving Rome much later then planned because the day we were there they had the signing of the European Declaration. A large portion of old Rome was closed off Friday until 3:00 pm for security reasons (Colosseum, Piazza Venezia, and Foro Romano). Of couse, we didn't know things were to be closed and one of the places on our list was the Colosseum. So we waited until it opened rather then skipping it. Late Friday night we took a train to Florence and spent all day Saturday walking around Florence. I didn't do a new webpage for Rome and Florence, but there are pages from the previous time I've been there.

Sunday morning we decided to take a train to Siena for the day to see some of the Tuscan country side. Although it was a little rainy, the view from the train was beautiful.

Seina, a medieval town, is still surrounded by the old city walls today. Siena's roots are of Estruscan origin, but it was eventually conquered by Florence in 1555.

This is the Piazza dei Salimbeni, which was built in the 19th century to set off the Salimbeni property (the main building in back of the statue). The statue is of of Sallustio Bandini, who invented the promissory note system that is the basis of today's checking account. The buildings surrounding the square house a bank, founded in 1472, which claims to be one of the world's oldest bank.
building with statue

I thought the little city streets were really pretty...

The Duomo (Catedrale di Santa Maria) was completed by the mid-1200's. It is said that Pope Alexander III consecrated the Duomo in 1189. Quite big and lavishly decorated, the floor inside was covered with mosaic tiles depicting various stories.
cathedral cathedral front cathedral ceiling

This is the Piazzo del Campo, the main square of Siena. Every year in the summer they hold wild horse races here called Palio. The building in the first picture is the Palazzo Pubblico (built 1297) which houses the Museo Civico and the city hall. The bell tower is called Torre del Mangia.
town sqr bldg town square

Our only wrinkle in the afternoon was catching the bus back to the train station. We had planned on the 6:30pm train so we could make it back to Florence by 8:00pm for dinner (we had 9pm reservation). Well we waited for a little while and the bus didn't come. We then asked in the hotel next door and the girl said "well it is Sunday and the buses don't run as often". Getting a little worried, we asked her to call a taxi for us. Luckily we got to the train station in time for our train and had a wonderful dinner in Florence.
Florence after dinner

The little design End

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