Siena...and the most beautiful cathedral?

November 4th 2009
Published: November 5th 2009
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Gaia Fountain, the Campo, SienaGaia Fountain, the Campo, SienaGaia Fountain, the Campo, Siena

Built 600 years ago to celebrate the completion of the water system.
Day 15 Lucca to Siena

We arrived in Lucca in the rain and left in the rain....It took three trains to travel the relatively short distance to Siena...uneventful trip except for watching two criminal types get arrested when they got off the train...they were being held by the train police in the car next to ours.

Siena is beautiful, even in the rain...but I think I like Lucca even better. The cathedral here is not to be missed though! We walked around town all afternoon, and then ate at a small restaurant, which is a Rick Steves reccomendation, we found out. (We keep ending up at "his" places with out his guidebook!) Our hotel is even older than the one in Lucca...the original building dates to the 13th century or has been a hotel since the 19th century. I used the cash machine tonight at a bank founded in 1472!

Siena was the first Italian city to ban cars from its center...but there are still far too many vehicles on the pedestrian streets! Taxis constantly roar up to intersections and looked shocked and angry to find the street full of people walking....

I haven't mentioned the
the Campo, Sienathe Campo, Sienathe Campo, Siena

In the shape of a beach, it slopes gently down to the city hall...was once the site of the Roman forum here..
fact that everyone smokes here....shopkeepers and waitresses stand outside their doors with a cig...people light up the second they get off the train....or stand hanging out the door at a station...

We will use our rail passes and travel first class to Napoli tomorrow.

Day 16 Siena to Napoli

We took the first class Eurostar today..very pleasant and fast..arrive in Napoli in the early evening and found a hotel that's a bit expensive, but quite nice, and in the historical district. We'll tour Naples tomorrow and may be stay here three nights...We'll include a trip to Caserta, where my Dad was stationed in WWII.

We went out to eat at an old restaurant (started out in 1946, wonder if Dad ate here?), and then walked around a bit..Napoli is everything I imagined...somewhat dirty, lots of grafitti, lots of leather clad guys hanging around, many scooters going very fast down narrow streets...and amazing buildings at every turn...Roman ruins in the middle of a small square...

We stopped by a church on our way back, and there was a nightly prayer service going on..we were welcomed in and sat throught part of this lay service..we did recognize the Lord's Prayer in Italian...the church is affliliated with a music school and the music was great..mostly college age students were there.

I am typing on the hotel desk computer since we can't get a connection in the room..the night watchman is suspicious but the girl who checked us in said we could use it...

More next time!

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


Another contender for most beautiful cathedralAnother contender for most beautiful cathedral
Another contender for most beautiful cathedral

This one is amazing...I know, I keep saying that! We paid to go in and it was well worth it...
Floor mosaicsFloor mosaics
Floor mosaics

The most valuable are kept covered except for a few weeks in August.
Back EntranceBack Entrance
Back Entrance

They had started to add on this part, which would have made it the largest in the world, but the plague ruined it for stands half-finished..
What we do at every train stationWhat we do at every train station
What we do at every train station

We have to go down, then up to the right platform...
A very old Apothecary and Herbalist Shop in FlorenceA very old Apothecary and Herbalist Shop in Florence
A very old Apothecary and Herbalist Shop in Florence

I couldn't find it when we were in Florence, but figured out where it was after we had left. We had 40 minutes between trains today in Florence, so I ran over (literally) and bought some soap..I could have spent hours smelled wonderfully!

6th November 2009

Come Bella

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