Friday, June 19, 2009

"Siena! Oh, I love Siena!"

With a recommendation like that, how could we possibly skip the Tuscan town of Siena?

We hopped on a bus in San Gimignano and headed out for a day in the town known for its church and town square (or Il Campo). Il Campo is a huge, semi-circle, paved square that sits in front of the town hall and tower. The square is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and do a bit of people watching. We sat on a lovely balcony just above Il Campo and enjoyed delicious sandwiches made with the best of Italian meats and cheeses. After lunch we wandered through the square and crowds of people while sipping on fresh lemon and strawberry granitas.

City Tower
Matt in front of the Fountain of Joy

After lunch we headed off to the religious center of Siena and visited the Duomo, the Baptistery, and the Duomo museum. We were treated to works by Donatello, Pisano, Bernini, and Ghiberit in situ. Both the Duomo and the Baptistery have beautiful, intricate inlaid marble floors that are an artistic treat all by themselves.

Baptismal Font at the Baptristry by Ghiberti and Donatello
Marble Floor from the Duomo
Donatello's St. John the Baptist at the Duomo

My favorite part was the Piccolomini Library in the Duomo. It is a sumptuous room that is decorated with with bright frescoes and a beautiful ceiling. The real treat for me was the intricately decorated illuminated manuscripts and music scores that are displayed around the room.

Ceiling of the Piccolomini Library

The rest of our Siena pictures can be found here.

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