09/17/2019 - 09/17/2019
We were up early and walked to the bus station to take the 8:50 AM express bus to Siena. Charlie, in true Italian form, had his espresso at the counter before we boarded the bus.
Our trip took about 75 minutes, and the bus dropped us off close to the walled city of Siena. Fair warning...I took A LOT of photos today. This city is unlike anywhere that we have visited. As you follow the narrow streets and alleyways, it takes you back in time.
When we were last here, the Duomo (Santa Maria Della Scala) was under extensive renovation, and we could not enter, which was a big part of my desire to return. I have to say that it is one amazing cathedral! Here are photos of the facade.
The massive interior is well known for its beautiful marble floors, which covered Bible stories, cautionary tales, and memorials.
The most renowned scene is that of the Slaughter of the Innocents.
This pulpit was designed by Pisano.
The Piccolomini library is attached to the church. The ceiling and walls are remarkable! It contains many music ledgers.
Here is the interior of the cupola.
The altar is relatively plain, but works well with the very busy decor.
Here is the choir area.
Here are a few other photos taken in the Duomo.
We also went down to the crypt, which had beautiful frescoes along the walls.
They had quite a collection of reliquaries. Whenever we see saint body parts in Italy, I am reminded of the time that I told one of our guides that we had seen the entire foot of St. Catherine in a church, and without missing a beat, he commented, "St. Catherine was a centipede."
Now, up from the crypt, and across the square to the Baptistry.
Here is Il Campo, the famous Piazza of Siena.
We entered the town hall. Statues of Romulus and Remus abound in this city...you will see others in the photo gallery.
The famous horse race, the Palio, is run around the perimeter of Il Campo, and neighborhood competition is fierce. As we walked through the city, we saw many of the neighborhood flags and colors decorating the different neighborhoods.
Maureen finally found a Pinocchio bottle opener that she had been looking for since her arrival.
We had a delicious late lunch. The guys had Veal Marsala, while Maureen and I opted for pasta dishes.
After lunch, we visited St. Christopher Church. I had a good laugh at my expense when I eagerly took this photo of the man on horseback, thinking that Palio fervor was so intense that it was referenced in church, only to realize that it is St. George slaying the dragon. I preferred my original story. I also love to find churches where you can light taper candles; many good prayers were attached to this one.
Our final church visit was to San Francisco.
We returned to Florence on the 5:10 bus, and got back around 6:30. Back at the apartment, we had wine, cheese, and crackers to end our evening.
Photos are tagged Siena and Italy