Monday, December 3, 2007
During my family's visit last week, we took a day trip by bus, through fog, to the Tuscan jewel Siena. Because of the Bubonic Plague and its long history in the shadow of her busier rival, Florence, Siena has retained her medieval structure, feel, traditions, and politics more significantly than many other places in Italy. I visited in August for the Palio, perhaps the most famous bareback horse race in the world, and it was a pleasure to go back with my family. Thanks to the excellent introduction to the city I received from Magno (like our favorite team, the Red Sox, sempre campeon), I was able to play tour guide for part of the day. And what a day it was. The winding labyrinthine streets of the contrade. The elegant striped and unfinished Duomo, home of an amazing marble floor and a stargazing scriptorium. The sloped scallop of the picturesque Campo, site of the biannual race and a perfect setting for a late afternoon drink. A wandering ramble past churches, the university, vistas, the calcio stadium, leather and paper and ceramics and artisan shops, eventually back to the bus station. Here are some of the many photos we took.