After our morning in San Gimignano, it was off to spend the afternoon in Siena! Siena, was also an important city in this area of Italy that was eventually conquered by the Florentines, but unlike San Gimignano, Siena remained a center of banking, thus it has always been a somewhat important part of the region, even if there were times when the money ran out in Siena, which is why you’ll find a piazza that appears to lead nowhere from the Cathedral. They didn’t finish building the cathedral they had planned. Still, even if it isn’t the largest Doumo in the world, as they had planned, it’s still very impressive.
The other main area of interest in the center of town, the Piazza del Campo. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you feel about completely dangerous horse races in public squares, we were not in Siena for one of the Palio races. All of the districts or contrades of Siena compete against each other in these races, with the winners having the ability to lord it over the other districts for the rest of the year. As we were touring around the Oca district, we became very familiar with it’s goose mascot and colors!
Regardless, I enjoyed the relative peace and quiet of the Piazza in the late afternoon. Just compare these photos taken of the Piazza and of the Pallazo Publico and Torre del Mangia, compared to the chaos captured during the latest Palio on Buzzfeed, for example.
Just a little bit different, no? 😉
Still, I think I might enjoy the experience of a Palio, but maybe I’d rather do that from the relative safety of one of the balconies that overlook the Piazza instead of right up in the middle of all of that.
This was the last day in Italy, and I was very happy with the decision to go to Tuscany and see some of the ancient architecture and surviving culture of these towns. On the next cruise that stops in Livorno I might make a different decision, perhaps going to Florence, for example, but I can’t say that I didn’t love every minute of San Gimignano and Siena.
Over on Flickr you can see the set of photos from Siena, or all of Italy. Enjoy!
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