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Report 1247: A Not-So-Slow First Trip to Italy and Budapest

By andasamo from Nova Scotia, Canada, Spring 2006

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Page 11 of 14: A Bus Trip to Siena…

photo by Andasamo

Our first glimpse of the Campo

We took the express bus (about 75 mins) from Florence to Siena. The countryside was beautiful, even in an overcast day in March. In Siena, we made our way to Il Campo (where else would first-timers head?) and had some lunch at Il Palio along the edge of the campo. I had a hearty bowl of Tuscan soup (very tasty), plus a hot chocolate/coffee mix (which was so-so in my opinion, but I generally don’t care for hot chocolate so am not the best judge.) Il Campo is, just as the guidebooks promise, an absolute delight and, in March, was not at all crowded. The fountain of joy (a reproduction, I think?) was lovely, and amusing with its horde of pigeons sipping from the spouts. We had limited time, so skipped the City Tower climb.

We moved along to the Duomo (unfortunately the façade was covered up), the Museo dell'Opera and the Baptistery. Inside the Duomo, it was hard to know where to look first: the inlaid floor panels, Pisano’s pulpit, the Cappella della Madonna del Voto ... but our breath was taken away when we stepped into the Piccolomini Library. Pinturicchio’s frescoes are so incredibly vibrant and brilliantly coloured. In the museum, I was utterly enthralled with Duccio’s Maesta. Something about it spoke to me – I felt I could have sat peacefully and stared for hours. We also climbed out onto the terrace at the top of the museum and discovered an incredible (although again hazy) view. And then down out of the museum and out to wander the town. Siena’s streets seem to spill down in all directions, under arches, around buildings, fun just to walk around. The time to catch our bus back to Florence came all too soon.

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