Made our way down to Siena for three days of…. thunderstorms!! Not only was it insanely hot and humid (and our hostel didn’t have A/C), it was raining almost the entire time. But we still managed to squeeze some sightseeing in, as you can see below!
Miles walked: 8
Miles driven: ~150
Day 1 – Siena
Made our way into the city to do some sightseeing… little did we know that a thunderstorm was making its way over and that we were practically the only people outdoors in all of Siena. Anyway, we decided to visit a cool little fort called Fortezza Medicea (sometimes called Fort of Saint Barbara), which we had all to ourselves:
Into the fort we go to find…… the zombie apocalypse??
Oh, a huge thunderstorm is minutes away? That’s cool. Explains why we’re the only two idiots wandering around.
But at least we managed to sneak in some great photos before dashing back to the car to beat the imminent torrential downpour?
We had planned to continue from the fort into the old (medieval) city of Siena, but by the time we got to the car the rain started coming down hard (and I mean, this was no light drizzle… this was the real deal). Instead, we ventured back to the hostel, in search of food along the way. But, in addition to the thunderstorm-induced zombie apocalypse, it was a Sunday, and apparently all of Italy pretty much just stops functioning on a Sunday. I kid you not, every single place we passed was closed. Only one place was open. The one place we swore we wouldn’t come near during our entire two months in Europe…
But hey, at least we had a salad. And it was the first salad we’d had since we got to Europe! It was actually kind of amazingly and surprisingly delicious. Plus, they had these fancy little nuggets that were filled with spinach and cheese and other stuff, so that was fun!
Day 2 – Monteriggioni
Still raining. We attempted to go to San Gimignano, but by the time we got there the rain was even more relentless than when we left, the place was CRAWLING with tourists (apparently this is why Siena itself is empty…) and we couldn’t find any parking for the life of us. Plus, Francy was feeling “sniffly”, so we made an executive decision… f*** this place. We decided instead to go check out another medieval city within the Siena province: Monteriggioni. Best decision ever! Also, the rain tapered off just as we got there. A sign from the heavens? Francy thinks so:
Piazza Roma (Monteriggioni’s main plaza). We later found out that Assassin’s Creed II (a video game series that Francy is fiercely devoted to) was set/based in Monteriggioni. Google it – It’s actually kind of cool to see this city in “video game” format.
Visited a medieval “museum” (took us about 3 minutes to explore it… thank god it was free…). Samsonite had a BLAST:
The incredible view from outside the city walls:
Finding a Mini anywhere is exciting enough. Finding a Mini INSIDE the fortressed walls of a medieval town?!? Priceless.
Wandered around the medieval streets:
And capped off our visit by rewarding ourselves with a medieval gelato!
Side note – I’m looking at my left hand as I’m typing this blog post up and I SWEAR it looks nothing like it does in this picture. Well, maybe just my shitty, bitten nails are accurately depicted.
Day 3 – Siena again!
Since we failed in our attempts to visit the medieval city of Siena on the first day, we woke up super early so that we could squeeze in a quick visit before heading down to Vatican City to hang out with the Pope (we told him we’d be a little late but he didn’t mind because, obviously, we’re el pepe’s #1 priority):
Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral):
This is must-have decor for our next apartment:
I guess they were getting ready for some sort of racing event (horse-racing, maybe?). Would have been cool to be there for that!
Awesome view of the Basilica of San Domenico (Basilica Cateriniana) as we’re leaving the old city of Siena!