Photo Diary: Sienna
A little after my first week of being here in Italy, I visited the city of Siena for the day. Ask anyone, Italian who has lived here their whole life or tourist visiting Italy, and they would tell you to not even bother going to Siena. In most people's opinions' the city is boring, old and small. I have to give it to these people, compared to other major Italian cities like Florence and Rome, Siena is small, and notorious for being a city "stuck in the 1400's", but I don't necessarily think thats a bad thing. As for Siena being boring, I think they're just plain wrong.
Have lunch in the city square at one of the many cafe's that line the perimeter, and learn about the centuries old horse race that takes place there every year. Make sure before you leave the square that you take a look at the fountain there as well that used to be the city bath tub.
Siena is a charming city, quiet, yes, but interesting none the less. If you ever get the chance to have a relaxing day or week in Siena, I urge you to use it to learn about the history of this quaint city.
Another must-see part of Siena is the Siena Cathedral. This Cathedral is a mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, (thank you to the three years of art history) and the most beautiful church I have seen since being in Europe. (sorry Notre Dame and Duomo). Inside the cathedral wall are covered in frescos and ornate decoration, and if you go be sure to look down as you are walking and admire the intricate tile floors the cathedral is known for.