Thursday 27th in Siena

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September 27th 2018
Published: September 27th 2018
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Today Rosella was good enough to share her extensive knowledge of art and history and took us to Piazza Pubblico, the city hall with a frescoed history of the Sienese republic. The most important works are in the Hall of Good and Bad Government. This incredible allegorical work (by Ambrogio Lorenzetti) from the 14thCentury shows exactly what is necessary for a city state to sustain itself and its people. The room is divided into three walls: one for the effects of “bad” government, one of the effects of “good” government, and one representing the values and virtues that must be considered to create good over bad. This representation from almost 600 years ago is just as accurate today as it was when it was created. In the midst of the representation of “bad” governance is a tyrant standing on the captive figure of Justice lies bound, with the figures of Cruelty, Deceit, Fraud, Fury, Division, and War flanking him, and above him float the figures of Avarice, Pride, and self-interest/ narcissism. Does this sound similar to some of the issues facing governance in Italy, the United States and other countries right now? Turning to the makings of “good” government, the images are very clear: wisdom and balance guided by hope, faith and charity with the virtues of Peace, Fortitude, Prudence, Magnanimity, Temperance and justice. Think about our world today and the chaos that abounds. Where is our focus and what energy is being generated by our governments. Are we living a life of good or bad governance?

After a most enjoyable visit to the Hall of Good and Bad Government, we wandered over to a café for a lift and then off to a leisurely lunch at Osteria Il Carroccio, a Slow Foods restaurant near the Campo. Everything was very fresh, absolutely delicious, and very satisfying. Rosella had a traditional Tuscan soup, Peggy had a truffle dish and John went for the chighale ragu over pappardelle. That is three days and three fantastic restaurants! Are we in heaven?

Back to the flat to rest a little and chat some more. As we were enjoying the companionship the living room windows began to rattle and we discovered the testing being done by the sound people setting up for a rock and roll event Friday night. We are in for a real ride … and hopefully none of the windows breaks.

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