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Published: October 16th 2013
Siena in the Tuscany Region Italy 12 October 2013
Once leaving San Gimignano, the sun was shining over the magnificent rolling hills of the Tuscany Region, and we were on our way to Siena (popn 55,000).
They say that Siena was a rival town to Florence from the 12th
century through to today, and that even traveler either love one or the other but not both. Florence is a Renaissance city and Siena is more Gothic. We don’t ‘get’ this rivalry, simply because both towns are so different. However, in the 12th
century, Siena’s wealth, size and power grew along with its involvement in commerce and trade. Its rivalry with neighbouring Florence grew proportionally, leading to numerous wars between the two.
Today, both are competing for the tourist dollar and I reckon, proportionally, they are getting an equal share. We have to remember that Florence has a population of over 370,000.
We loved Sienna. It has style, quaintness, history, geographically interesting because it has a gig gully running through it but it is easy to walk around. The streets are paved evenly and there are many Piazzas which lend themselves to coffee drinking, dining and people-watching.
We came across the centre of the town, Piazza del Campo which is a loping piazza, popularly known as Il Campo, has been Sierna’s civic and social centre for nearly 600 years. In the upper part of the square is the Happy Fountain (Fonte Gaia) which is clad with white marble figures (1419).
The Town Hall (Palazzo Comunale) is also on the Piazza Compo, as is the Duomo (Opera della Metropolitana di Siena), Siena’s Gothic church. At this church, there was a wedding between a Pakistan and German couple living in Italy!!! We decided to be part of the group (with many other tourists!!) waiting for the bride and groom to leave the church, and to see what happens in an Italian wedding in Italy. When they exited the church, people had long, red cylinders like crackers we pull on New Year’s Eve (but about 1 metre long), and they were filled with pink paper. This was instead of confetti or rice we sometimes use. The area was instantly filled with floating pink paper as the bride appeared.
After that we went onto see the Siena Cathedral (Opera della Metropolitana di Siena), its Battistero and the Museum. This
was a display of wealth, wealth and more wealth. I will leave the photos to partly tell the story. They were pretty amazing!
The other interesting point about Siena is that, legend tells us that Siena was founded by the son of Remus, and the symbol of the wolf feeding the twins Romulus and Remus is ubiquitous in Siena as it is in Rome
We then sat down on one of the Piazzas for coffee. We love Italy’s coffee and in fact I haven’t had a bad coffee since we have been in Italy – even the espressos!!
We walked back to San Domenico Piazza which was where we parked the camper. We were satisfied we had seen and done what we wanted in Siena. We were now heading for Assisi.
We arrived at Camping Village Assisi at about 5.30pm. It was a very organized Village, with all the facilities such as restaurant, excellent facilities for camping cars, shop etc, etc.
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