Churches, Climbing, and Campo, Oh My!
Trip Start Aug 28, 2007
23Trip End Dec 16, 2007
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After going out lastnight and getting in at about 1:00, I was up this morning at 7:30 to catch a bus for Siena. The school had originally organized a trip to go to Siena and San Gimignano, however, the trip filled up to fast and we were unable to sign up for it. So, instead, we decided to catch a bus and meet up with the group there.
We bought our roundtrip tickets for a coach bus near the train station and started our hour and a half ride to Siena. We decided to get off the bus a stop before the central stop, which worked out because we had a great view when we walked around the corner of the Church of San Domenico. Church of San Domenico. Walking down the street (mapless mind you) we passed side streets that made huge dives down hills, looking like 20 foot drops in the span of 15 feet
I have studied Piazza del Campo every year I've been at Roger Williams. The information I did absorb while I managed to stay away in class was that it is one of the most famous and successful Piazzas in Europe. The P.za is shaped like a semi-circle (some say a bell), with buildings lining the perimiter. It serves a great shape for a theatre, however, there are no stairs. The P.za is just a single slope, very comfortable actually. This makes it ideal for people sit and lay down comfortably. Everywhere we looked there were couples and families sitting or napping in the Campo. The Campo was the center of the citys social scene, shows were preformed here, they even had the "Run of the Bulls" all meet into the center, branching from all of the side streets. Now, instead of Bulls, there are horses. The Palio, a large and famous horse race that happens twice a year is actually held in this P.za! Yes! It is that big! The spectators actually sit INSIDE the track and the racers and horses circle around them!
In the P.za we ran across our school group without even calling them. We followed them to their next destination, which was the Duomo (of Siena). It was so beautiful on the outside
We ate lunch at a small restraunt where I got a HUGE pizza and fries for like 7 euro. Not bad at all. We then met up with the group to see where they were going next, but they were headed to San Gimignano next. So we stayed in Siena and walked back down to the Piazza del Campo. On the way we saw a Tourture Museum, apparently Arod is determined to go into one. I'm a little sketched about it...but whatever, it's all about the experience and trying new things right?
We walked around the P.za and looked up at the huge Tower. We all decided it was a must to climb to the top of it. We had to climb up small narrow stair way to even get to the ticket booth. It costed 7 euro to climb the tower, but we had no time limit. The stairs were often really tight and it was hard going up when people were coming down. As you got closer to the top we were able to step into little cubbies and permit people to pass or we'd take pictures (often each cubby had a window with it)
On our way down we took more pictures and then decided to sit in the P.za and hang out. Erin sketched, Kelly people watched, Kara people watched, and Dana, Arod, and I looked around and then passed out and took a nap for about an hour. How amazing is that? Who can say that they took a nap in the P.za della Campo, one of the most famous P.zas in Europe?! I cannnn!
On the way back we stopped at a small shop and I got a ring that has a silver band wrapping around my finger and a copper stone. It's really neat. I want to get "Siena" engraved on the inside. We also stopped at a small gelato place (we had to have some). I tried the chocolate and blue mint (didn't know how the blue mint would taste)....but it was soooo good. Probably the best I've had here yet! The mint wasn't too overbearing, it was a soft cremey mint. If that make sense? Reguardless, I enjoyed it and tried to savvor it as much as I could (it was sooo good it was hard to slow down!).
Now I'm just relaxing and uploading some pictures. I'll have ones from here uploaded later on this week. I hope all is well in the States! Please e-mail, I always enjoy hearing from you all (whether it be a "hi" or comments about my trips/photos).