Italy by Train part 3 – Siena

Half way through our trip we arrived at gorgeous Siena. We only planned for two days here before we moved on to Rome, and we were all quite exhausted.

Both days were very laid back, in fact, the first day I did nothing at all. I wasn't feeling very well so I didn't even leave our hostel the first day.
We were staying in Siena Hostel for €21.50 a night in an 8 bed dorm including breakfast.

Day 1 - Rest

We arrived at our hostel just before lunch time and I settled in to have a nap while two of the others went to a park near the hostel. The hostel itself was a little way out of the main town so we had to get a bus in to the city. That evening we planned what to do while we were in Rome and talked to a few of our room mates.

 

Day 2 - Duomo and Piazza Del Campo


We left after a late breakfast to go and walk around the city. Starting at Piazza del Campo where they have the Palio di Siena, a biannual horse race that started in 1633, where 10 of the 17 Contrada (districts) race three three laps around the piazza bareback. It's not uncommon for horses to finish the race without their riders especially since the rules of the race allow the competitors to hamper one another. We weren't there for either of the races, they happen on the 2nd July and 16th August and people travel from all over the world to watch.

After the Piazza, we went to Siena's Duomo. Decorated in white and green-black marble stripes, construction began in 1215 and finished in 1348. The front of the cathedral is finished with red marble.
We had taken a picnic with us for lunch and sat in a park to eat. We stayed there for the rest of the afternoon getting slowly eaten alive by mosquitoes (definitely remember to pack repellent next time!)

That night we went for a meal at a small restaurant behind the Palazzo Publico, the city hall. The restaurant, La Finestra, was wonderful. I had a pasta dish with ragu d'anatra, duck. We shared a bottle of wine between the four of us and I also had tiramisu for dessert. At the end of the meal we were brought a bottle of... Something.. as a digestivo. None of our Italian was good enough to understand what it was, but it was a lovely way to end the evening. The meal was delicious, very relaxed and we didn't feel pressured to finish at any point. This was the best meal we had in Italy and I can't recommend the restaurant enough.

The next morning, we got our final train to Rome and said goodbye to the breathtaking Tuscan countryside.

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