Today we caught the early bus from the campsite into Siena, which was an experience as we had to stand at the back with all the students playing their music and singing along, whilst trying desperately to hold on tight as the bus driver clearly had a schedule to keep to because of the speed he was going! Diane and I were offered seats by two of the students, which made me feel that I must now appear to them to be an ‘old’ person!
We walked straight to the Duomo as this was the starting point for the city walking tour that we wanted to follow from the Lonely Planet guide. What an amazing and impressive piece of Romanesque-Gothic architecture with its striped white, pink and green marble facade and inside the striped theme continues in its walls and pillars while the vaults are painted blue with gold stars. The floor is stunning too.
We continued through Siena following the tour and taking in the sights that Siena has to offer.
We finished up at the amazing Piazza del Campo, Siena’s social centre, built on the site of a Roman marketplace. Around the perimeter are numerous cafes, apparently the most popular aperitivo spots in town. The Palazzo Comunale makes a perfect centrepiece of the square and also attached to the Palazzo is the Torre del Mangia , 102m high and with over 500 steps to climb to the top.
We stopped for a long lunch break on a terraced restaurant with views to the Duomo and across Siena then took one more walk back to the Duomo and Piazza del Campo for our final look at the stunning architecture. Siena is full of medieval buildings and monuments, plenty of restaurants and delis not to mention loads of gelaterias.
Tomorrow we will be heading for Lake Trasimeno and exploring the Val d’Orcia on the way.
Camping La Montagnola is a perfect place to stop if you want to visit Siena. There is a bus service directly from the campsite into the centre of Siena and you can buy the bus tickets from Reception €6.40 for 2 adult return tickets. The campsite has lovely level shaded pitches, good washing facilities, a small shop and a bar selling beer on tap and although we only used it to visit Siena, there are cycling trails nearby and some lovely countryside.