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Day trip to Siena

Cathedral competition


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Today is a return to Siena. After entering the gate, we parked in virtually the same place. We walked up the hill to the Piazza del Campo, then on to the Duomo di Siena, the Siena Cathedral. After checking our vaccination records, we purchased tickets and entered the Cathedral.

The Cathedral was an attempt for Siena to compete with Florence, a one-up on cathedrals. It seems that Siena and Florence competed relentlessly. There was an earlier structure, but in the 1100s, a new cathedral was started. It was built in parts with work going on for more than a hundred years. In the 1300s, they planned to double the Cathedral, a wild dream to outshine Florence, but the black death struck Siena in 1348, and work was halted. The massive new version was never completed. Half the population of Siena died from the plague, and the city never regained its power. The cathedral was completed but part of the larger version still stand outside.
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The Cathedral is constructed of alternating white and dark green marble, inside and out striped. Inside is notable for the extensive stone inlaid floors with scenes from the bible. Sculptures line the walls.

After the Cathedral, we decided on lunch on the Piazza del Campo. There was a pretty big crowd in the various cafes around the central brick fan. Some people sunned themselves on the bricks. Children played. People wandered around with maps and cameras. Horn began blaring, and four cars burst out of a narrow side street onto the piazza, each decorated, students on the roof or hanging off the side, screaming and cheering. This is one of several events we have witnessed. It is the season for graduation, and they want to celebrate. Noted right away were the rather risqué decorations, body parts, on the cars. I think people at home would be a little too prudish for all this.

After our time in Siena, we drove the winding 40 kilometers back to Montepulciano.
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After a rest, we headed out for supper but were distracted by a tour of a wine cellar. We were too late for a wine tasting so headed out again, without reservations. Luckily we found a restaurant that was full outside but could seat us inside.
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The day finally came to an end, and we were tired.

Posted by Deuxenvacances 20:11 Archived in Italy

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