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Published: October 10th 2016
We had a few days off the bikes in Siena and the hill town of Volterra and had planned to complete our time in Tuscany with two grueling (and scenic) hilly days (3600 and 3200 feet of climbing, respectively) to the hill towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano. The bikes were cleaned, chains oiled, olts tightened up, and we were ready. Then, on Friday night, back in Siena Kathy twisted her knee, re-aggravating an old injury. Full range of motion was impossible, so much so that further biking and even travel of any kind was out of the question. So we shifted gears, changed plane reservations, cancelled B&B and hotel reservations, and figured out how to get ourselves and the bikes to Rome and home as soon as possible so that Kathy can see her doctor there. Now (Monday evening) we are in Rome, ready to fly home tomorrow morning. I will cover some of the fun and interesting parts of those past two days in a final post after this one. This post includes photos of Siena and Volterra, two wonderful places.
Siena has great sites and many tourists, although it is much lower key than Florence. They were an
equal rival with Florence at one time, but the plague (in the late 1300s) set Siena back too far in that rivalry for them to ever catch up. Their Duomo is beautiful with great biblical scenes on the floor, executed in several colors of marble, including yellow, which is unique to this area. The old town feels closed when you are on the narrow streets, but, because the city is on a hill, there are great surprise views over the surrounding countryside at the ends of streets or even unexpected places like from the courtyard of the building where our great B&B was. In Siena we found the best restaurant out of many good and great ones we went to on this trip. It is L'Osteria at Via del Rossi 79-81. Great pastas, great Tuscan specialties, such as wild boar stew, and the absolute best prosciutto e melone. Go there if you go to Siena.
Volterra was a side trip by bus for one night. The town was an Etruscan stronghold in its day. They held out against the Romans there longer than anywhere else. There is a great museum of Etruscan artifacts that have been dug up in
the area, including many funerary urns, pretty interesting, actually. The ruins of the Roman theater that seated up to 2000 people are pretty interesting. Also, the views over the surrounding countryside and hills, and the ride up, which gave us a preview of what we thought we'd be in for on the planned rides to Montalcino and Montepulciano. Volterra is also known for alabaster, which is quarried n the area, one of only a few places in the world that has it. There is one alabaster workshop that allows tourists in to watch them make the sculptures, translucent lamp shades and other items that are seen in the shops. This was very cool to see.
Well, next time the report on the adventure of aborting the trip, getting the bikes packed up, and getting back home. Some fun and adventure there, too, so stay tuned. (Written in Rome, Monday evening, Oct 10. Headed home tomrrow.)
Tot: 0.327s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 22; qc: 101; dbt: 0.0463s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb