Siena - August 9: A Step Into the Past
Breakfast this morning at the Hotel Santa Caterina was in the garden with a sweeping view of the Tuscan countryside. The buffet table was heaped with goodies including fresh baked croissants sprinkled with powdered sugar, ham, cheese, yogurt, and fresh fruit. There's always a juice served that tastes like Hawaiian Punch.
After hiking ten minutes into town, we arrived at the laundrymat. It's 8 euro for wash and dry. While waiting for the laundry we visited the Civic Museum. It has brightly painted frescoes and some unidentifiable artifacts that resemble drums with coats of arms on them. Lunch was at a busy hole in the wall, Pigliapizza. You take a number and get pizza by the slice. The crust was just right for a bear and was thin and crispy with paper thin slices of squash.
Next we went to the Duomo Museum. The first room has statues from the church. Other rooms have tapestries and paintings. Old photographs of the church are on display so you can see how it once looked. The masterpiece of the museum is an altar piece by Duccio. In the 1500s it was considered outdated and was left in the church basement. Now it is the treasure of the museum where people sit in chairs in front of it taking it all in.
In the late afternoon we went window shopping. The most beautiful store is Antica Drogheria Monganelli. It sells pasta, spices, cheese, cookies, and liquors all presented in an old traditional style. Candies in bins are measured on an old fashion scale. My owners bought me some Lemoncella and Grappa. I'll enjoy the lemon drink chilled, and the Grappa in my coffee. The latter is known as coffee correcto.
Dinner tonight was at Osteria il Tamburino. It is in an old neighborhood and locals eat there. We saw a rehearsal for the palio with drums and flags tossed high in the air. Tonight Il Campo looks very magical with all the lights. It's full of tourists strolling about, or eating at the many cafes that line the square. Tomorrow we are off to San Gimignano.
"Practicing for Palio"
The beat of the drums
Bright flags tossed high in the air
Heart of Siena