Seeing Siena

Siena, Italy
Siena, Italy


Saturday morning we boarded a bus from Rome to Siena and a few hours later settled into our 3-star hotel for a five day stay.  We happened to be perfectly situated steps from the old city center so we dropped our bags and walked out the front door to explore. In minutes we knew we were in the heart of Tuscany, walking the medieval city and it’s labyrinth of narrow, cobblestoned streets.   


The old center is a maze of pre-renaissance brick buildings, stories high that can give you a bit of claustrophobia if it weren’t for the antique beauty around every corner. All of a sudden a view appears between buildings or over the red clay tiled roofs of the Tuscan countryside.  Flower pots and brightly colored shutters adorn the crumbling buildings and at every corner brightly colored contrada flags are blowing  proudly displaying the regional alliances of that neighborhood. Siena is famous for the Palio horse races that happen twice each summer when these contrada battle for supremacy and pride.

Piazza del Campo, Siena
Piazza del Campo, Siena

It all happens in the main Piazza del Campo, a beautiful fan shaped square in the center of the old city. You reach it after wondering an endless gauntlet of shops, everything from designer wear to wine, gift shops, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, delis, butcher shops…..anything you could want or imagine. Down a lane you’ll see a walkway that unassumingly opens up into the piazza.  It’s the biggest piazza in Italy and regarded as the most beautiful medieval square in all of Europe. It is surrounded by some incredible architecture and a meeting place where people come to see and be seen while relaxing on the fishbone paved piazza. 

For the next few days we just wondered the streets, gawking and people watching.  Sunday was busy after the locals headed out to shop and eat after church, the atmosphere was intensified by a thick fog that had enveloped the city. Sounds were more amplified and everything seemed more surreal, the church bells were chiming and we felt like we were in a dream.

Below is another video of our first few days in Siena, just click on the photo.  I’ve added a link (click here) to our Youtube page if you missed any of our other videos (note the arrow that scrolls threw to other videos). There are more photos in the Gallery; click on Photo Gallery-Uk and Europe- Italy-Siena. If you have any suggestions for the blog, photos or videos send us a note, good or bad, I’d love to know if I’m boring everyone or how to improve.


  • George Parkson

    December 9, 2016 at 3:25 am Reply

    Wonderful blog and of course the beautiful pics bring back “eye-watering” visits we made to Italy many years back…continue the journey!

    • Mark

      December 9, 2016 at 6:02 am Reply

      Thanks George, glad you are enjoying the pics and reliving your past trip. We are in Lucca now and just back from a daytrip to Pisa. It was such a beautiful day, plus 15 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Sorry, we are in T-shirts while you guys are in a deep freeze.

  • Marty

    December 2, 2016 at 1:43 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us. The architecture is so beautiful, it must be hard to take it all in. Enjoy !!

    • Mark

      December 2, 2016 at 5:16 am Reply

      Hi Marty! The old architecture is amazing and the country is beautiful. Starting to get cold here the last few days. We had snow flakes this morning in Siena and everyone was humming Christmas tunes. We arrived in Florence this afternoon and started with some grocery shopping for our 5 days here, tomorrow we’ll start to hit the sites. Talk soon!

  • Anonymous

    November 30, 2016 at 8:39 am Reply

    Keep up the good work you two, I’ve been following this from the beginning. Joan Glass

    • Mark

      November 30, 2016 at 8:54 am Reply

      Thanks Joan, we’ll keep blogging along! Hope all is well at home.

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