Spring Break – Siena

Time to tackle spring break. We saw SO much during the two weeks the girls were off school, that it’s going to take quite a few posts to get it all documented.

We started off spring break by getting in the car and driving to Siena, Italy.  It’s about a seven hour drive, without stops, so we made it just in time to check into the Villa where we were staying the night. It was out in the country side, just a little ways outside of Siena. Now we needed to find some dinner. The manager of the Villa suggested a restaurant in an old castle not too far away. Sounded cool, so we thought we’d give it a try. The area was quite ‘interesting’. This midieval castle, which was in serious disrepair, had been turned into apartments. No, these were not luxury apartments. They were down right scarry. I was totally creeped out walking through it, and ready to find somewhere else to eat, but alas, there was nothing else around. The restaurant ended up not being inside the actual castle, but right next to it. Inside, the restaurant was really quite nice. Everything was in Italian, so we had no idea what we were ordering. We ended up ordering way too much food. It was definitely authentic Tuscan cuisine. I can’t even tell you what we ate, because I don’t know. Some of it was really good, some of it we had to force ourselves to eat. Kudos to Emily for finishing all the liver! (Sorry no pictures of the scarry castle Frown )

The villa where we stayed

The next morning we headed into Siena. It is a very beautiful old city. First we saw the church of San Domenico which honors the life of St. Catherine. In the church they have cases that house her actual thumb and head. I find this whole idea of relics a little bit creepy. The girls were totally grossed out.

Next we headed to Il Campo, the city’s main square. It is really quite amazing. The city tower is Italy’s tallest secular tower and the Fountain of Joy (Fonte Gaia) by Jacopo della Quercia was beautiful.

We stopped for lunch at a restaurant right on the square and had some authentic Italian pizza.

The highlight of Siena for me was the Duomo. Wow. Breathtaking. The church dates back to 1215, and inside you find statues by Michelangelo and sculptures by Bernini. With it’s stripped walls and dark blue ceiling, it is definitely different than any of the churches we’ve seen so far.  I have to say though, that my favorite room was the one that houses the the illuminated music scores. What can I say, I love books.

We finished our tour of Siena by hitting the gelato stand, and we came to the conclusion that during our stay in Italy it was manditory for us to have gelato at least once a day.

Next stop… Rome.

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