Monday 24th To Siena

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September 25th 2018
Published: September 25th 2018
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John was up in the dark and catching the sunrise over the fortress at the north end of town. Imagine the thrill of finding this defensible hilltop of tufa stone. Easy to carve out the battlements and a well deep into the hillside. What a lovely start to the day, walking the old battlements and enjoying the peacefulness. John went into one of the community gardens and a gentleman in fine business attire (and smart briefcase) looked in and asked what he was doing. When told he said how much he loved this city and its gardens. “Have a nice holiday” he said as he left. Since Orvieto is so close to Rome, it is possible he was catching the early train to the big city. And there was a small bus with Rome as its destination. Perhaps there are multiple business folks who live happily in Orvieto and commute to Rome.

After breakfast we took a cab to the station and caught the train to Siena. Changing in Chiusi Sinulunga was tricky as we had only six minutes to change platforms with our luggage. But we made it and caught a cab in Siena to our flat … which is spectacular! Just what the doctor ordered. The owner suggested a restaurant, PorriOne, off the Campo, and we went there for a leisurely (almost 2 hours) lunch. Everything was perfect and topped off with delectable desserts. Happy we bought some goods at the local store and took a rest. Joining passeggiata (walk around town in the evening) we looked in store windows and enjoyed the local and tourist crowds.

We are settled into our flat for the week and the excitement of the Campo provides constant entertainment. We can watch all the people, listen to the music, watch the changing of the guards in front of the City Hall, and get with the preparations for the special Palio that will be held in October to celebrate the end of the First World War. Each of the 17 contrade (sections of the city) will be positioning themselves for the race … and coming into the Campo to beef up their claim … starting with a midnight visit – drums, flags, costumes and chanting – our first day in Siena. Kept us up but was most enjoyable.

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