Welcome back to part three of the 12-day backpacking tour through Germany and Italy. Next stop: Tuscany. Here is the land of rolling hills, ripe vineyards, and authentic Italian cuisine. It was the perfect place to rest after the frantic pace of Munich and the madness of Venice. The relaxed air of the town helped us destress and have a fabulous time. Discover Sienna with us!
We spent most of the day traveling. The train ride from Venice to Sienna gave us a chance to unwind. We got to the cute B&B in the city’s center and immediately booked a trip to a Tuscan vineyard. Oh my goodness! We had a four-course dinner along with antipasti. It was delicious! We started with salami, prosciutto, cheese, and bruschetta out in a patio area near the restaurant. Then we walked down to the vineyards for a traditional Tuscan grill out. The first course was some kind of bread soup. The second course was a delicious pasta with a light tomato sauce. The third course was grilled meats—some kind of delicious sausage, pork, chicken, and beef—potatoes and fresh grilled vegetables. Then we had panna cotta covered in chocolate sauce. We sat with two couples traveling Italy together. They were mid-forties to early fifties with kids ages nine to fifteen from Florida and Texas. They were a ton of fun!
We took a lazy morning. It was needed after Venice. And it rained in the morning. When we emerged, the sky was blue. We wandered around the shops downtown and then we got lunch at a Il Campo—plaza in caved a semi-circle. Excited, I ordered a Frutti del Mar pizza. I was not so excited when I got this.
Why are there shells on my pizza? And where’s the cheese?!
After lunch we continued to wander around aimlessly. We found the wall dividing the old town from the new. We found one lovely vista and then another. This was our favorite.
We found the fortress. We had the choice between left and right. We took the left… wrong choice. We walked around the whole thing, and it was MASSIVE. Seriously huge. When we finally found the entrance (about 20 yards from our starting point), we went in and there was nothing to see. We could only laugh about it.
All the streets looked like this.
Aside from the electricity, it really feels like you’re taking a step back in time. Everything is worn stone and simplistic beauty. We had a fabulous dinner that evening at a place it took us too long to find and returned to our lovely B&B.
We had a full day before catching a train to Rome, so we ambled around the rest of Sienna, seeking out the rest of the tourist stops we’d missed the day before. And I have to say this church was incredibly impressive. Everything was striped. Outside, black and white limestone reminded me of cartoon prison suits. Inside, marble striped the tall walls. We didn’t see everything as the tickets were expensive, but it was a sight to behold.
At lunch, we picked up pizza that was more like a grilled ham and cheese and took it to Il Campo–the half circle “square” in the center of Sienna. It dips down to the center like stadium seating. We enjoyed chasing off the pigeons, watching children run, and couples stroll. It was a lovely end to a lovely visit.
Where do you like to go to relax? What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? The best setting?
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