wandering amphibia

Trip Report – RTW – Part 7: Italy Day 1: Siena

Siena is the capital of the province of Siena (which doesn’t help very much), but is the city that can be seen in the background of the Val d’Orcia pictures. It is a magnificent antique city in the middle of Tuscany, the centre of which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Much can be read about it on its article on Wikipedia, but the most important part is that it’s a city full of unevent pavement, cobblestone streets, and more history than all of North America combined, pretty much.

The view of the city when approaching from the parking lot situated outside the city walls:IMG_2379 IMG_2381 IMG_2385

Typical city streets:IMG_2390IMG_2391IMG_2393

I haven’t absolutely the REMOTEST idea how this X6 fits on any of these streets. Hell, for what it’s worth, even parked, it’s taking up about half of the street’s width. They should ban everything but Fiat 500s in cities like this, as far as I’m concerned!IMG_2396


The historic centre of Siena (the one named into the UNESCO World Heritage Site list). A famous horse race takes place here twice a year, and we were there right at the time when the preparations were being made for one of the two):IMG_2398


Requisite souvenirs: a tour guide in Japanese…IMG_2404

… and a gun.IMG_2405

I was reminded that not only is water proudly potable in Italy, but it is done so that you can drink it on the street from the water fountains.IMG_2406

Here are some pigeons demonstrating the potableness of the water.IMG_2407IMG_2409IMG_2413


Just as we were taking pictures of the historic centre, a man in one of the upper floor buildings was taking pictures of us and of the others on the streets. IMG_2414

View from the Palazzo Pubblico – Val d’Orcia in the distance.IMG_2430IMG_2434IMG_2435

One of the most impressive works in the Palazzo Pubblico is Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s series of frescoes, Allegory of Good and Bad Government. Turns out I wasn’t supposed to take photos of it (clearly, I’m less literate than I am cultured, and considering the dearth of the latter, you can only begin to imagine the lack of the former, since the NO PHOTOS sign was pretty damn obvious). But I managed to get two photos, anyway. No posing in front of them, at least.IMG_2436IMG_2437

The Siena Cathedral is not only beautiful, but it is one of the most intricate, complex, and detailed cathedrals in all of Italy. The amount of detail in the construction is absolutely breathtaking.IMG_2444IMG_2445IMG_2446IMG_2447


All in all, Siena lives up to its reputation of a spectacular old, historical city. Well worth a visit if you’re in Tuscany.