They say: “When Siena weeps, Florence laughs”. It took us two years to finally get to Siena and just a bit further to try the most amazing panforte Marabissi, have an ice cream in the local Il Masgalano gealteria (Via della Sapienza 47), and coffee in a local and most historic bar Pasticceria Nannini (Via Banchi di Sopra 24). Here you have to be prepared to order and talk faster than usual, and that is after you have made a hard decision of things to try – they taste way better than they look. Three hours was enough to feel the pride of the locals and the extravagant city walls, but not enough to see all of it, as Siena (exaggerated or not) hides some very small and charming streets in forgotten places.
Local shops and eateries can satisfy all travelers, especially those who stay off the tourist track. Better take an early drive and enjoy the Wednesday market next to Fortezza and then head to the city just to wander around the streets of Siena, to experience the ancient and the red – Siena is all about that. It is also about Duomo di Siena, covered with a gothic facade, shimmering in the sun like a diamond. They say it is one of the most beautiful in Italy. Even if it is not, it is breathtaking and a walk up the stairs is a must, with or without gelato in one hand. Of course, there is Piazza del Campo, Piazza delle Papesse, Vicolo delle Carrozze, and tiny Vicolo degli Orefici, where a street with no end is hidden somewhere between the houses, and as you walk there in the stillness, all you hear are Indian prayers and smell curry.
Story and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s