To preface this post and all my Italian posts, sadly I cannot find one of our memory cards that has many pictures missing from this visit and those after this one.
After Cinque Terre, we boarded approximately three separate trains and arrived in the heart of Sienna. We got off the train in the midst of a large thunderstorm. We found wi-fi access which allowed me to get the address of a brief stay in the city.
The hotel was absolutely lovely. I don’t know if it was the train ride, the exciting three days in Cinque Terre or the thunderstorm, but we both crashed out for a long nap. When we woke up it was heavenly. The storm had cleared, the birds were chirping and we felt refreshed enough to find a bite to eat.
The front desk gave us a map and said we were not far from the Piazza del Campo. I think Italians measurement maybe a tad different than what I may think a short walk.
Needless to say, we walked, and walked, and walked some more. Passing restaurants, storefronts, coffee shops, most of which were closed to our surprise. Having read in some of our tour guide books that shops close down in the later afternoon to take a break before dinner service around 7 pm, we realized this was especially true here. We finally found a gelato store that was open, we were hungry and there were not many choices. I had the most delightful lemon gelato with a hint of fresh mint. The store owner was so proud of his new flavor, he kept asking me if I was enjoying it. After a delightful snack, we ventured forth to see if we could spot the center. As we walked, the streets began filling up with people, children, dogs, and cars. I was so surprised to see so many people all of a sudden when upon first entrance it seemed like a ghost town.
So many strolling along the small streets that were filled with high-end stores, some as small as a closet and others not much bigger. We did venture into this sort of wine bar-cafeteria store that had many locals walking home from work picking up salads and meats for dinner. We decided to have a nice glass of wine, Alan had some fish, and we both shared some amazing prosciutto. They were sold out of most of their salads, and I could tell they were very popular. Feeling more relaxed we ventured forth again until we happened upon the center.
It was magnificent. The clay or dirt around the edges of the center was in tack for the upcoming and past horse races. They had boards laid across, so people wouldn’t slip or perhaps get their nice shoes messy. The bricks in the square were the color of sienna red. After taking the center in for a bit, we decided to find the restaurant we had passed on our way from the hotel. It was a small, very eclectic little spot. Very odd art hanging on the walls. I had the most amazing bowl of pasta with fresh ground pepper Cacio e Pepe the house specialty. Alan had Osso Bucco, none like he had before. The cooking was done at a separate place, perhaps next door or across the way, but it made it to us piping hot.
With very full bellies, we walked back to the hotel and once again crashed out knowing our next day would be full picking up the rental car and making our way to Civita.