Siena Day 3

Museo Civico: this is Siena’s city museum and is located on the first floor of Palazzo Pubblico. The range of exhibits including paintings, frescoes, sculptures and more from the Senese school. There are frescoes depicting the creation (? Reunification?) of Italy (19th century), also for Pope Alexander lll also beautiful allegorical frescoes by Domenico Beccafumi. There is also a Chapel with frescoes by Taddeo Di Bartolo.
After this we walked to the Siena Cathedral built between 1215 and 1263 in gothic style by Nicola Pisano. Features: the amazing black and white styled Campanile. In the pavement of the Cathedral there are 59 panels of marble etched and inlaid showing scenes from the Bible and Siena’s history. The walls are covered with paintings and frescoes.

 


Next visited was the Museo dell’ Opera: This is a private museum with treasures and relics from the Cathedral. It has statues, icons, and relics – also we climbed the museums tower that gave us an amazing view of the Cathedral and the rooftops of Siena.

Nice Dinner that night: pork with truffle sauce and I had rare steak with pepper corns. Dessert included dipping biscotti into a sweet liquor.

Siena Day 2

Took a walk around Siena to locate out starting point for the afternoon tour to Chianti region then headed backwards to the Duomo piazza to go to Santa Maria Della Scalia . It was excellent especially the Pilgrims hall with frescoes of the medical/ hospital work which was done there- very interesting.
There are so many tourists in Siena!
Chianti tour-
This was a delightful guide with faltering but good English. Superb weather for our drive through the Tuscan countryside. First stop – Castellina de Chianti – very pretty town . Walking with a tour group is NOT us – you don’t have time to take it in. We did chat to a nice Perth couple
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Second stop – San Gimignano – a gorgeous hilltop town but totally packed with tourist even though it was 4.30 in the afternoon- mainly sat and tried the local wine.
Third stop – Cantine  Tuscans Vineyard. The wines were very good – went through from white to big reds and a dessert wine accompanied by bread, biscuits, salami, cheese, special oils olive and truffle and balsamic vinegar- some interesting chat with Americans on our table

Siena Day 1

Another beautiful day weather wise – easy drive to Siena by the expressway seeing some pretty hilltop towns.
The fun started when we tried to park. The free car park we had been told about was full and with no expectation of getting one we reset the gps for the pay car park . It led it is through the narrow streets of the center of the town filled with tourists. We followed another car which didn’t seem to know what it was as doing either- fortunately we went down a street which led to outside the walls. Still ended up receiving a fine for driving through a pedestrian area – thank you Italy for ripping off tourists!!! Following google on the mobile we eventually made it around and through the gate to the car park. We walked with our luggage to our B and B – up and down. Big things were happening in our street and there were preparations for celebration
We weren’t sure what to expect as there was no one at  office. We rang and she eventually came- delightful – very proud of Siena and told us plenty of history and what to expect that night. This area of Siena had won the horse race.
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The Palio di Siena (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːljo di ˈsjɛːna]; known locally simply as Il Palio) is a horse race that is held twice each year,on 2 Julyand16 August, in Siena, Italy. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. The Palio heldon 2 Julyis named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, a Marian devotion particular to Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia. The Palio heldon 16 Augustis named Palio dell’Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary.
Our accommodation is so well located about 100 meters from the Piazza del Campo. The weather was magnificent and we sat on the ground taking it in with many others.
Had lunch at local recommended restaurant – Peter had local dish – pappardelle with wild boar sauce.
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Siena is busy with tourists but totally gorgeous – walked up to the duomo which was brilliant white in the sunshine.
We had a fantastic Saturday night in our street. The street had been set up with different themes from key museums e.g. Louvre,Cairo, British- so there were people dressed up -can can girls, mummies, the pipe and cardinals,opera characters. There was live music at the Moulin Rouge-fabulous. Good and drink was sold by vouchers – Soooooo much fun. Wall to wall  people.