Sunday, September 16, 2012


I had never heard of Siena until a few years ago. A couple in my bible study group mentioned they had been to Italy several times and Siena was their favorite place there. Afraid of a big let down, such as Pisa, I decided not to have any expectations.

Getting there was easy enough. It was a a little further than Florence, but not as far as Pisa which was a big positive. Like all the other cities we had been to, I parked at the very first lot I found and once again, we found ourselves walking in the direction of the "Centro". Just in case, I took some landmark photos of our surroundings. I wasn't going to take any chances of a repeat of Pisa.

Not a block away, we saw a bus stop and for some reason, I found myself suggesting that we catch a bus.

It was the weirdest ride ever. No one would look at us or talk to us. Including the bus driver and the three riders we asked about how to pay. It was as if we had the plague. So we rode on the bus like a bunch of bozos looking for a sign that would indicate it was time to get off. After about 10 minutes, the road we were on, began to look like the onset of a city and finally up ahead was what appeared to be a very old entrance to the city.

This had to be it. Not sure how close the bus would stop, we got off several blocks before the actual structure. No worries, we needed to find a pharmacy and post office, not necessarily in that order.

First up, a pharmacy where mosquito repellent was needed. Liz and the girls were beginning to get eaten alive and were desperate for some relief from those pesky things. After buying some repellent and cortisone lotion, we continued up the street and ran into the ufficio postale.

Things were looking up! Things as first were not as expected once we passed through the arches of the structure. I don't know what I was expecting, but this wasn't quite it. The buildings were beautiful, but there wasn't much around. We continued to walk forward.

Although the streets were a bit desolate, it didn't have the same feeling of oppression as I felt in Pisa.

By this time it was mid-day and the heat was rising. But the beauty of our surroundings made it easy to overlook the discomfort.

Slowly the scenery began to change and we began to see more signs of activity.

And suddenly we came upon the Piazza del Campo, the most beautiful piazza I had ever seen.

After a mediocre lunch in the Piazza, we explored the surroundings. While the girls and Liz checked out a few stores, I plopped myself down on the cobblestone and just enjoyed the moment.

It's a moment I will not forget. It's one of my most favorite moments of the whole trip. Just sitting there, like I belonged, taking in the surroundings, watching a few others who were sitting too. Some were sitting there talking, some writing, some sketching. It's a moment I wished I could make last forever.

This was my moment.

If I would have spent the rest of my afternoon there, I would have been happy, but I knew we had come to see more than the Piazza so after some more photos, we ventured out to find the Duomo.

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