Monday, September 12, 2011

Hello from Tuscany

Today was another travel day. Said goodbye to our Hotel Verona in Rome and walked the 6 blocks to the Termini Station to await our train to Chiusi in the northern part of Italy which we could get on a bus to Siena.  Siena is an ancient town that at one time rivaled Florence, but is now a city of 60,000 people.  It is a favorite of tourist, of which Jerry and I were two.

The train ride was great.  We took the "rapido" to Chiusi, which was very fast.  Jerry and I sat in a compartment with an Italian family of a dad a pre-teen and a grandmother, who basically ate the entire trip.  There was another young woman who immediately went to sleep when the train started.

The train was late in leaving and consequently we were late getting in to meet our bus for Siena.  They were waiting for us, and it was a very nice ride, until we started going over hills and dales and steep winding roads that were about 12 feet wide.  We saw a lot of Tuscany!  When we arrived in Siena we got a taxi to our hotel Albergo Bernini.  Good thing because Siena is built on 45 degree hills nd we would have never found it, or made it if we had.  Truly, the streets are 30 - 45 degrees steep, and everywhere you need to go is either up or down.  Again, I am blessing my ugly black shoes.

We ate a salad and crostini at a local restaurant around the corner from the hotel:  On a 45 degree street.  There were blocks under the tables and the chairs to keep you straight.  Very disconcerting, but fun once you got used to it.  We shared a table outside with a man from Austria who was touring Italy alone.  His English was passable, and we had a nice visit about traveling.

We went back to the hotel for a rest, then set out to see the two sights of Siena:  The Duomo (Cathedral) which dates back to 1239) and the Il Campo which is the town square.  One up hill, one down.  It was a lot of work to get to both but we made it.  Jerry said, when you think you couldn't see a better church you see this one.  It was again just amazing.  The stripes on the church are two different colored marble.  Il Campo is a large square with restaurants all around.  It is where they hold a famous horse race every year called the Palio.  Today was pretty tame.

We hiked back to Bernini and bought 2 Donner Kebabs (sliced pork sandwiches) and a bottle of Chianti and ate them on the terrace of the hotel..  There we met a couple from Seattle, and another younger couple from Melbourne Australia.  We 6 sat until late drinking wine and talking about travel and life.  Lots of fun.  They are all taking off for different parts of Italy, as we are tomorrow.

Our room is simple but adequate.  Only 8 rooms in the hotel, but the staff is very nice and the place is CLEAN.    Tomorrow we bus or train to Florence to see more art.  Ciao!

1 comment:

  1. I loved your pictures from Siena. It brought back so many great memories. I am glad you got a donner, Jerry. Jean, cheap food is good food! Deal with it! :) Sandwich or not, that sandwich is amazing. I hope you had a bottle of brunello wine. That is what Tuscany is known for. It is great, but Phil and I liked Chianti the most. I am so excited for you to see the David. Just sit and take it in. It is quite the breathtaking piece. You are both really sparking some great conversations between Phil and I at night recalling our memories. Cold in Iowa today. Might freeze tonight. We will get your flower in the garage or porch. Ciao...enjoy!