The Italian stallion

We arrived in Siena on Saturday 7 September and took our host’s recommendation for lunch at Osteria Nonna Gina. We sampled pici (thick spaghetti), giant gnocchi and ribollita (vegetable stew) – it was all delicious!

With full, round tummies we took a stroll around Siena’s maze of narrow streets and alleys to the Duomo, with a striking facade of green, red and white marble, and fan shaped Piazza del Campo. Note: I took the following photos early Sunday morning which is why there’s no tourists in them!

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Il Campo is the venue for the city’s famous annual bareback horse race, Il Palio.

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The city is divided into 17 contrade, of which 10 are selected to compete for the Palio (silk banner) each year. Loyalty to the contrada of one’s birth is fierce and the streets were decorated with the parishes’ animal symbols repeated on flags, plaques and carvings.

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Ed popped into a hairdresser along via di Città for a long overdue haircut and we were both amazed when his Einstein lookalike barber used clippers and a comb to complete most of the cutting.

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Ed came out looking like an Italian stallion and we spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring churches and piazzas and taking in the surrounding countryside from various vantage points.

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