Day 1b: Siena


After visiting Montepulciano we took the car and went to our next destination that day: Siena. This was no longer a geek visit but rather a tourist one. From Montepulciano to Siena there are 65km or 1 hour trip. For those who do not have GPS you can calculate the routes with the Repsol Guide or the Michelin Way.

Interior of the DuomoDome of the Duomo, painted with stars simulating the sky.

I had heard wonders and plagues about Siena and I have to say that I personally loved it, especially the Duomo (Cathedral). We parked the car outside the wall where there is a private parking and we went to explore the old part of the city. Siena has 17 contrade or neighborhoods that are represented with different animals. So as you walk through its alleyways it is not surprising to find the animal-symbol of the contrade everywhere.

Two temples practicing with the flags.

On the way to the Duomo we find two boys practicing the launch of flags, (I'm sorry I don't know the technical name he receives), and that is a week later the mythical Palio was celebrated, which is a horse race around the Piazza dei Field, in which 17 riders / horses represent the respective contrades. This race is held twice a year (July 2 and August 16) and consists of three laps at full speed. For the Sienese, it is a great pride to participate in it and it is quite spectacular, if not, watch this video that I found on the YouTube that was made on July 2:

The Duomo is the cathedral of Siena. To enter you have to pay € 6, which is really worth it. The Duomo dates from 1382 and while the exterior is impressive, what most impacts is its interior in black and white striped marble. I guess what makes it so special to me is the fact that it is not the typical church I am used to visiting. The dome is painted blue and with stars imitating the sky. Another characteristic fact is that through the halls you can see the flags that represent each contrade.

Piazza dei Campo, was full of people.Terraces in the Piazza dei Campo

When leaving the Duomo we go to the Piazza dei Campo, which is where the Palio is disputed. Curiously in this square there was a fountain. The square is quite large and very beautiful. It is chaired by the Palazzo Publico, which is a Gothic town hall that ended in 1342. A curiosity, have you wondered where the name siena comes from? Because it is due to the characteristic bricks in all the constructions of the city.