Italy
Loggia della Mercanzia

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16 travelers at this place:

  • Day12

    Day 12. Il Palio di Siena

    August 16, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Drove 2 hours to Siena. We arrived at our accommodation about 12:30pm, Siena Hostel Guidoriccio, Via Fiorentina 89. Unfortunately check in is 3pm even though we asked for 12 noon. They had our room ready 2:30pm. A bit more hostel than hotel than we expected. We were given clean sheets and pillow cases for our bed but no towels!! We threw our bags into our room and walked 40 minutes into Siena old city centre. The Palio celebrations were well under way with street parades and performances from the Contrade teams. We followed the parades for an hour. Stopped for refreshments and toilet visit then off to the Piazza del Campo at 4pm to get a free spot in the Piazza Centre before gates are locked at 4:30pm. We alternated between standing and sitting on the ground until the race started.
    Horses came into the Piazza at 7pm. 5 invalid lineups (horse out of line or wrong order) then a false start then 5 invalid lineups then go. Race started at 7:30pm. We thought Green & Gold won but it was Lupa (Orange, Green, White). It is the horse that wins. The winner was the riderless horse. The jockey that fell off and got off the track.
    https://youtu.be/RqvjOkO1Y1Y
    Left about 7:45pm and went to the entrance where we had to leave our metal cups. Only one cup remaining.
    Walked out of the centre to Piazza Giocomo Mattiotti and had pizza and beer for dinner.
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  • Day20

    Florence - Day 19 Tour - To Siena

    August 15, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Heading to Siena today by train. Have to drop the car off after breakfast and to the train station.

    So we trained it to Siena and did some shopping and finally fixed the TIM SIM card. Then caught a taxi to the hotel we are staying at.its 22 km from Siena and his a Golf and Spa Resort. Beautiful and a bit posh for us 😁😁😁.

    Settled into our room and then had a look around. We had dinner sitting outside under the Tuscan Sun sipping wine and relaxing.

    Great day.
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  • Day21

    Siena - Day 20 Tour - Palio di Siena

    August 16, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    So this morning a bit of a sleep 8n with comfy beds. Kirah went for a walk while I showered and then we got ready for brekky.

    Had a yummy brekky and then back to the room. Kirah had a bit of a snooze as she is not feeling great. We then decided to walk over to the pool and spend a couple of hours working on our fans 😁😁😁 just relaxed and the water was a bit chilly but I liked it.

    Organised our ride into Siena for the race and went back to our room to get ready. Took some Lucy's and then the taxi arrived to pick us up.

    Arrived in Siena and it's crazy, but a good crazy 😁😁😁, the people for each Contrada (district) where out parading the streets with their flags and drummers etc. The out fits were medieval. This is serious business.

    So the race goes like this. The horses and jockeys ate kept separate from everyine so that they cannot be tampered with. Each contrado has a stable that the hirse is kept in once it is pickled. There is no betting on the race, however the jockeys vie with each other and officials to get poll position which is the inside track. The jockey that does the best job will be priced and will be the first puck for each Contrado the next year. The prize money is $700,000 euros and the winner (contrado) has to pay for the whole thing, but the honour and prestige of winning is what it is all about.

    Thete is about 4 hours of parades around the track before the race culminating in a wagon being pulled by four white bulls, the BIGGEST bulls I have ever seen. The police race their horses around the track with swords drawn. A big day.

    The race is set to start at 7 pm, however there is no starting gate and it can take a while to get the horses to line up and be ready. It took so long tonight. Apparently if they can't get them sorted before dark the r save gets held over until the next day.

    Anyway we had balcony seats, no way would I have coped not saw anything in the general admission in the middle of the track.

    The race took three laps and about 30 - 40 seconds and it was done, but what a race. We were sitting right above a corner that was swuate not circular and as they raced around this cirner a rider clipped the fence with his leg asnd cane off but managed to get out of the way, but it crested another rider to cone off his horse and her was run over by a couple of horses. The ambulance peopke raced ourmt obto the track to get him, they got him onto the stretcher abd started to gwt off the track but dropped him, they only just got him to the fence as the horses came around again. It was intense.

    The first rider that came off, his horse went on to win the race as once started they can finish without their rider. CRAZY.

    We said our good byes to our host a and had dinner and back to the hotel. An early start in the morning, heading for Cinque Terre in the morning by three trains 😁😁😁

    Crazy day that I would not have missed for the world.
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  • Day23

    Siena

    July 4, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Schon in allerfrüh brechen wir von der Amalfiküste auf. Heute haben wir ein relativ großes Teilstück zu bewältigen. Es geht eindeutig Richtung Heimat! Ohne Zwischenstopp legen wir die etwa 450 Kilometer lange Strecke nach Siena zurück. Viel Zeit zur Besichtigung haben wir nicht, Hannah will zumindest einen Eindruck kriegen.
    Wie so oft landen wir um die Mittagszeit. Parkplatz finden wir glücklicherweise gleich vor dem Stadttor unweit der Piazza del Campo. Diese muschelförmige Platz ist einfach nur schön. Heute ist er an seiner Außenseite mit einem breiten, festgestampften Band aus Sand bedeckt. Vor zwei Tagen fand das berühmte Pferderennen, das Palio, bei dem die Jockeys auf ungesattelten Pferden im Höllentempo um den Platz jagen, statt. Wir nehmen im erstbesten Straßencafè platz und schauen uns eine Szene des letzten Rennens an. Es tut niemandem von uns leid, dass wir dieses Spektakel verpasst haben. Am Cafè wären wir auch besser vorbei gegangen, 16,50 Euro für zwei Cola und ein kleines Mineralwasser 😱, voll in die Touristenfalle gerappt. Aber man zahlt nicht für's Getränk, sondern den Platz am Platz 😉. Ein wenig schlendern wir durch die Gassen, wollen uns jedoch richtig stärken ehe wir unsere Besichtigungstour richtig starten. Abseits vom Zentrum werden wir fündig, eine kleine Trattoria, vier Tische draußen, ein paar Tische drinnen, kleine Karte mit Spezialitäten aus der Gegend. Drei Mitarbeiterinnen inklusive Köchin. Wir bestellen u.a. Gnocchi mit Estragonpesto, die landen gleich auf der Liste der nachzukochenden Gerichte.
    Gut gestärkt nehmen wir uns den Dom vor. Eine Kirche mit wunderschönem Marmorboden mit 56 Darstellungen, die zu unterschiedlichen Zeiten entstanden sind. Die Kirche birgt auch die Bibliothek zu Ehren des Enea Silvio Piccolomini, den späteren Papst Pius II, mit großartigen Handschriften sowie einer Darstellung seines Lebens anhand von zehn Fresken. Prächtig ausgestaltet mit Fresken sind auch Krypta und Baptisterium.
    Nach ausführlicher Kirchenbesichtigung bleibt uns noch Zeit für ein paar Fotos, ehe es zurück zum Auto geht. Wir wollen noch weiter nach Florenz, wo unser nettes B&B auf uns wartet.
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  • Day27

    Siena - Day Tour from Florence

    September 25, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Second stop was Siena with a guided tour and lunch as part of the deal. Our bus dropped us off a bit far out from the old town area and we did a lot of brisk walking to get to the centre to start our guided tour with a local. It was very rushed but what we saw of Siena, we loved. However, we really weren’t that impressed with the tour guide as she also rushed us through the town telling us a little on the way before leaving us at the front of the Duomo where she left us with vague instructions on how to find our way back to where we were having lunch.

    The promised lunch was very light on and not that exciting as we were actually sat in an outdoor tent with no atmosphere at all. And the wine was disgusting! It was very disappointing, and I don’t know that we would do a guided tour again. What we did enjoy was chatting to the people at our table. We were sat next to a couple from Canada and were surprised to discover that the guy was also a police officer and their son was a Canadian Mountie. We had a great time chatting and laughing with them. Sometimes it is the people you meet on your travels that add to the joy of the trip.

    One of the things I loved about Siena, were the different decorative light fittings, ceramic plaques and flags down every laneway. What we did learn was that Siena is divided into 17 neighbourhoods in the historic centre, called Contrade. During the biannual running of the Palio, the centuries-old bareback horse race that occurs in the Piazza del Campo, ten of the participating contrade send a horse and rider to the race and things are very competitive between the districts. Each contrada is represented by a symbol - most are animals but there are also mythical creatures, architectural symbols and icons taken from nature – and certain colour combinations and you definitely know which contrada you are in by the flags flying and eye-catching light fittings. The history of Siena and the famous horse race and rivalry between the contrade is certainly interesting.

    I am looking forward to going back and spending more time in Siena and exploring it at our own pace.
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  • Day29

    Streets of Siena

    September 27, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    After the tower climb, we explored the cobblestone streets of Siena, admiring so much about the town. The views from just outside the Piazza, overlooking the Tuscan hillside, the churches in the distance and back towards the tower were breathtaking. We are in a truly beautiful part of the world.

    There is so much to admire in the little details as well - even the grates on the gutters are amazingly intricate! The elaborate alters built on the front of the buildings, the plaques and loggias, everything is so beautifully adorned and skilfully created. It is a feast for the eyes.

    One thing I did notice about Siena was the lack of trees in the historic centre. There appears to be just one tree and that is it. It certainly stands out against the stonework, growing up towards the sun, surrounded by buildings. You actually don’t notice the absence of trees until you see this one. I’m not sure what the significance of this tree is, but it is being looked after and encouraged to grow.

    There is such an ease about exploring Siena and it is such a great town to explore without getting lost. We love it here and like most of the places we have visited so far, we wish we had longer to get to know her better.
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  • Day12

    Siena

    June 1, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Von Lucca aus hatten wir einen Besuch in Siena ins Auge gefasst. Siena hatten wir im letzten Italien-Urlaub ausgelassen und nachdem wir Bilder aus Siena gesehen hatten, wollten wir dort unbedingt noch einmal hin. Also wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann? Wir fuhren also nach Siena, parkten unser Auto unter der Altstadt und machten uns auf den Weg in die (wieder einmal auf einem Hügel gelegene) Altstadt. Da wir in der Mittagszeit unterwegs waren, war es sehr warm und wenig Schatten auf unserem Weg. Zum Glück aber wird einem in Siena der letzte und steilste Aufstieg mit sechs aufeinander folgenden Rolltreppen erleichtert. So kamen wir noch halbwegs bei Kräften in der Altstadt an und besuchten den Dom, spazierten durch die Gassen und sahen uns den Palazzo Pubblico an der Piazza del Campo an, den Platz, auf dem 2x jährlich das traditionelle Pferderennen in Siena stattfindet. Zum Mittag gab es noch einen Salat und gegrilltes Gemüse in einer Trattoria, in der auch die eigene Küche genutzt wurde. Anschließend liefen wir wieder zurück zum Auto.

    Als nächstes Ziel haben wir uns eine Straße ausgesucht und zwar die SP 146 zwischen San Quirico d'Orcia und Pienza. An dieser Straße sollte es einem Internetbeticht nach zahlreiche Motive geben, wie sie auf Postkarten und Kalendern über die Toskana abgebildet sein sollen. Wir fuhren dort also hin und die 9 km lange Strecke einmal ab, um uns einen Überblick zu verschaffen. Weil es noch recht früh war, gingen wie in San Quirico d'Orcia noch einmal mit Kameras durch die Stadt und fuhren dann die SP146 noch einmal entlang mit zahlreichen Foto-Stopps bevor wir uns am Abend auf einem Stellplatz in Pienza einrichteten. Pienza haben wir dann allerdings nicht mehr geschafft. Es war bereits dunkel und die Füße waren platt...
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Loggia della Mercanzia

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