Monday, 19 November 2012


Siena is the embodiment of a medieval city. Its inhabitants pursued their rivalry with Florence right into the area of urban planning. Throughout the centuries, they preserved their city's Gothic appearance, acquired between the 12th and 15th centuries. During this period the work of Duccio, the Lorenzetti brothers and Simone Martini was to influence the course of Italian and, more broadly, European art. The whole city of Siena, built around the Piazza del Campo, was devised as a work of art that blends into the surrounding landscape -
By the time we arrived in Siena, we were very hungry, so the first order of business was finding a good place to grab lunch. Having sit down restaurant meals for both lunch and dinner was proving to be an expensive exercise, so we decided to try a deli recommended in the Lonely Planet.
Unfortunately I have no photos of the interior as I decided to respect the 'NO PHOTOGRAPHY' sign they had displayed, however I can attest that it was pretty much every foodie's wet dream in there - crammed with cured meats and cheeses, it smelled incredible. We went for a basic prosciutto and cheese sandwich. The prosciutto was delicious but there was WAY too much cheese - perhaps it would've been better toasted?
Once my stomach was amply sated (in fact, I had to leave half the sandwich for later consumption), we headed to Siena Cathedral. The designer obviously had a thing for stripes as the whole structure resembles a Beetlejuice costume, both inside and out.
The streets of Siena are narrow, with gloomy gothic buildings looming high on either side. So when you finally emerge at the vast open space of the town square, the contrast is almost gasp-worthy.

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