Palazzo delle Papesse

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15 travelers at this place:

  • Day342

    Day 343: Siena

    January 23 in Italy

    Up and out around 10am after our first hotel breakfast in quite a while! Indulged a little bit and felt quite full afterwards, though it was definitely nicer than the usual muesli & yoghurt fare we have in the mornings! Only a short drive to Siena of around 20 minutes, where we parked at the front of another large and largely empty carpark.

    The car parks are underneath the cliffs which the city is built on, but thankfully our car park had escalators installed so you weren't trudging up hundreds of steps! Still quite a long way up though. Siena is a much larger city than San Gimignano, a population of around 50,000 or so. Quite a few more tourists around again, though it wasn't exactly what I'd call busy.

    The main feature here is the large fan-shaped square in the centre, where every year a horse race known as the Palio takes place. The jockeys ride bareback and do three laps at breakneck speed in what's not a very large area - apparently crashes are quite common, as are horses finishing riderless, and the whole thing only takes 90 seconds! Sounds exciting though.

    Enjoyed the square, filmed a few things, and had a wander around the alleyways and streets to soak up the atmosphere. Schnitzel decided that today he was going to be a jerk and just kept barking at everything - kids, adults, pigeons, other dogs, wheely suitcases. Pretty much anything. Since we wanted to go inside some of the buildings and he was just being annoying, we went and put him back in the car! It was underground so no chance of him overheating or anything.

    Bought a combined ticket for the cathedral and a couple of other spots. The cathedral was absolutely incredible inside, made out of striped black and white marble for an incredible effect. Lots of great paintings too, and a couple of sculptures by Michelangelo and Donatello. The library off to the side of the main church had some hymn sheets from the 12th century, and an incredible series of frescoes about the life of Pope Pius II who hailed from nearby Pienza.

    Definitely glad we went inside here, though we rather skimmed the museum since it was mostly the original versions of sculptures and statues that we'd already seen the replicas of. Lastly we visited the "facade". This is a large facade wall for the cathedral, because during a particularly wealthy and prosperous period of the town's existence, the locals decided to expand the cathedral into the world's largest basilica. They got as far as building one tall facade wall to re-orient the building before the plague arrived in town, lots of people died and of course the money dried up.

    It's a strange feeling being out on a narrow wall towering over the city, but it had fantastic views in both directions as you'd expect! Lots of steps to get up, but definitely worth it. Finished off our filming here, then grabbed a gelato and sat in the sun of the main piazza for a while. As late afternoon approached we went back to the car and drove home.

    Ate at the hotel restaurant again (it's probably 15 minutes drive from anywhere of note and we didn't have a kitchen), but just had a pasta dish each this time - much more manageable bill!
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  • Day38

    Siena, Italy

    September 2, 2016 in Italy

    Well this is the first bigger town in Tuscany and we are already convinced. You can really feel the renesanse in the air. The architecture is stunning and so are the streets inside the wall with all that cute shops. It was hard not to spend everything here. Thor was once again in the center of attention as kids and random couples wanted to pet him. I bet he felt like a star :)

    It's funny, that Siena with big Duomo and Piazza is so large, contrary to small villages we passed by today, but somehow has this Tuscany vibe. You can spot this town miles away, as orange-brown color gives it away. Impressive.Read more

  • Day2

    Siena, Olaszország

    October 29, 2017 in Italy

    2. Nap: ma Sienába mentünk, elég hosszú volt az út csupa kacskaringóval, de megérte. A parkolással kicsit bénáztunk, de inkább biztosra mentünk és beálltunk egy parkolóházba a főtér mellett. Már innen nagyon szép volt a kilátás. Első utunk az Il Campohoz vezetett, ez a főtér, ami gyönyörű, itt felmentünk 400 lépcsőn a Torre del Mangia toronyba, ahonnan aztán olyan kilátás nyílt a térre, hogy tátva maradt a szánk. Ezután elmentünk a dómba is, nagyon szép volt. Majd megkóstoltunk egy igazi olasz fagyit, és ittunk egy cappucinót.Read more

  • Day2

    Sienna, Italië

    August 13, 2016 in Italy

    Walking around in this beautiful ancient town of Sienna. You can smell the centuries...

    Dinner choices:
    SIN: Salmon risotto + prosecco
    YVES: Gnocci tartufo with local Chianti classico red wine

  • Day14

    Siena Wine Tour

    July 17, 2017 in Italy

    This morning we were out the door by 8:40. We had to walk about 25 minutes to get to our tour meeting point. Promptly at 9:30 we hopped on our Mercedes mini man and we were off to Chianti Classico country.

    Chianti Classico is a wine region of about 40 000 acres, only 20 000 dedicated to vines. There are 17 wine regions just in Tuscany and this is one of the most important. Most of the wineries are very small and family run.

    On our agenda, we had three family wineries of different sizes to visit. Our first stop was the largest vineyard as they produce about 100 000 bottles a year. It was called Montecchio. We got a tour of the cellars before sampling three wines: a young Chianti Classico, a reserva, and a super Tuscan. First we learned how to correctly smell and taste wine, which was really neat as our guide was a sommelier. We also got to sample the olive oil they make as well. It was so good that we bought a bottle of both the reserva and the olive oil. I'm sure the oil will make it home, but I'm not sure about the wine!

    Our next stop was the medium sized vineyard. Here we were greeted by a Vancouverite! We haven't encountered many Canadians, so this was a treat! He showed us the vines and the olive trees, as well as the French oak barrels (each barrel costs 1000€, about $1700 CAD) that the Sangiovese grapes are aged in. They can only use the barrels for four years and then they have to get rid of them. After the tour, we tasted three wines - all reds. We enjoyed these three and it was interesting to taste one that hadn't been in an oak barrel as opposed to one that had as you could really taste the difference.

    Our last stop was the smallest winery, Casa Emma. We didn't get a tour here, but as you drove up you could see the vines. It's incredible how rocky the soil is, which is apparently very important for growing vines. Anyway, here we had lunch with our wines. We started with both a white and a rose, which were paired with bruschetta, salamis, and cheese. We also got a Tuscan bread and tomato dish that Evan compared to mashed potatoes. With our third wine, a red, we had a pasta course. It was similar to a bucatini with tomato sauce. We have been told that Tuscan cooking always involves tomatoes.

    The wines and the views were both spectacular! Our drive back to Florence from Siena was beautiful and far more forested than one might assume. We learned about Chianti Classico and how it's not at all like Chianti, which we had not known. It was a pretty fantastic Mother's Day gift!
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  • Day14

    Apres Wine

    July 17, 2017 in Italy

    We arrived home shortly after 3:30 and needless to say, Brad and I needed a nap. I blame it on getting up so early!

    After we awoke, we managed to get ourselves going so that we could go out for dinner. We decided to go to a place that was only 15 minutes away and highly recommended for its tripe. We didn't have a reservation, but seeing as it was a Monday night we got in right away.

    We began with tripe meatballs (polpette) which were deep fried and very rich and savoury! The tripe had been ground up, unlike previous versions of tripe we have tried. Then we had primi. Evan ordered tagatelle with a white ragu, which was so delicious! It tasted like butter! I had ravioli in a tomato and onion sauce stuffed with tripe, and Brad had rigatoni with a duck sauce. All the pasta dishes were outstanding and just what we wanted!

    Evan is not one to say no to dolci, so he had a warm chocolate flourless cake. It was almost like a slice of lava cake. He was pretty happy about the entire meal!

    After dinner, we walked home and got ready for bed. Tomorrow is a long day of art, art, climbing the Duomo, and more art!
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  • Day14


    August 13, 2016 in Italy

    Op het gemak opstaan, ontbijten en op naar Siena. Gezellig wandelen door de straatjes, een wandeling langs de verschillende fonteinen van enkele contradas(verschillende gemeenschappen in Siena, reeds traditielang, elk met hun eigen vlag en fontein waar kindjes na de kerkelijke doop een 2e keer gedoopt worden).

    Vandaag is het toevallig ook de verkiezing van de paarden voor elke contrada voor de paardenren 🏇op het grote marktplein op 17aug. Massa's volk, gezang en drukte. Elke contrada loopt rond met hun eigen sjaaltjes.

    In de namiddag gaan we zwemmen in een domein even buiten stad. Zwem zwem, snurk snurk (basje), lees lees. Boekje uit!

    Savonds gaan we eten in Siena met een mooi zichtje op stad :)
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Palazzo delle Papesse

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