In Siena, like in all towns in Tuscany, parking was the first thing we were interested in. We chose the underground garage in Via Esterna di Fontebranda. It turned out to be a good choice. At first we were shocked to see that the parking garage was right at the foot of the hill on top of which the Duomo could be seen. My wife said, “I will never climb it.”
But in about 200 meters we saw the escalator system that within a few minutes brought us to the top of the hill. We found it extremely convenient!
The first attraction we visited in Siena was the Duomo, a building of extraordinary beauty with numerous white-grey-pink marble figures and statues.
The construction of the cathedral began in the 13th century. It was originally intended to be the largest cathedral in Italy. But the project was frozen and it was decided to decorate the building they managed to construct. It can safely be said that they succeeded. The Duomo has a very interesting bell tower. Before the trip I had read that in the Duomo you have the feeling of completion. And it is really true. There is only one cathedral it could be compared to and it’s Duomo in Milan. During our trip we saw also Duomo in Florence. But Duomo in Siena is really very special.
After a walk near Duomo along very interesting streets of the old town we made our way to the square Piazza del Campo. It is regarded as one of Italy’s most special squares. It is shaped like a shell divided into nine sections, the number of which symbolizes the rule of the nine families who formerly governed Siena. The Square is especially noted for its medieval buildings facades, Loggia della Mercanzia and the clock tower.
On the other side of the Square you can see a famous fountain Fonte Gaia (“Fountain of Joy”). It was built in 1419 by Jacopo della Quercia. The fountain is one of the masterpieces of Italian architecture and symbolizes the town’s entering the Renaissance period. In 1858 Tito Sarrocchi made a copy of the fountain but omitted two statues which the town authorities found too nude. It’s the copy you can see in the Square today. As for the original it is placed in the museum Ospedale di St. Maria della Scala.
According to tradition, we sat right in the square for a while enjoying the unforgettable atmosphere of Tuscany and tried to take a panoramic photo. I will be glad if you appreciate this very photo and all other photos of Siena.
I had been told that Siena was a spectacularly beautiful town and that it was the most beautiful town in Tuscany. I cannot consider it to be the most beautiful town but I admit that it is really very beautiful.
In the evening we set off for a trip from Siena to Florence. We didn’t spend much time in Tuscany but that road turned out to be the most beautiful road I had ever seen in my life. Beautiful trees, hills and small villages made our trip really unforgettable.
We spent the end of the intensive day in Michelangelo Square (Piazzale Michelangelo).