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Siena


Today I visited Siena (not Sienna) which is situated halfway between Firenze and Roma.  It is medieval town which includes more than few dozen churches strewn throughout its meandering hilly streets.  I am thankful for the calves Seattle has given me as I really needed them today to roam around the town.  I arrived a little before noon and soon discovered to my delight that it is already preparing for the Christmas season with the hanging of lights throughout the streets; sadly I was only there during the day so I missed actually seeing them lit.  There is apparently a university located in the town which I stumbled upon as I at first through the buildings were a part of the church I was exploring.  It is sometimes difficult for this American to comprehend being able to work and live in such history; I am very envious of the students.

Given that today was extremely overcast and a bit chilly I decided to spend a disproportionate amount of my time indoors.  I stumbled upon Duomo di Siena (Cathedral of Siena) in my meanderings whereupon I purchased a ticket to visit the museum, crypt, cathedral, and climb up some very steep and narrow rounding stairs to get a panoramic view of the town.  What excited me about the cathedral is that they allow photographs, albeit without use of flash or tripod.  I had hoped to take some long exposure photographs; however, given this was not an option I instead opted to rely on HDRI which I just started using yesterday in Firenze.  While I think long exposures are preferable in these situations, nevertheless HDR allows me to grab photographs that would otherwise require a tripod or a god-like steady-hand which I am not blessed with.

Siena is Firenze toned down in terms of tourism.  It very much reminded me of Cambridge, England when I visited three years ago right before Christmas.  People are out and about, chatting, window-shopping and generally doing the things that people do that live in a city.  Certainly the city caters to tourists and frankly does a very admirable job of doing so at a very reasonable price in terms of tickets and audio-guides.  For people looking to explore Roma and Tuscany then I highly suspect Siena is just about the perfect size and location for a vacation geared at taking it slower and yet affording itself the opportunity to drink in all that Roma, Siena, Firenze and Tuscany has to offer.

View photos at SmugMug

One Comment

  1. Takayo and I visited last year about this time. Did you get to see the floor of the Cathedral?

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

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