I took a day trip to Siena with my newfound Middlebury friends Cody, Katie, and Naja just as autumn was descending, which meant beautiful, brisk weather along the Italian countryside.
Siena struck me as the type of place that is underappreciated by tourists who’d much rather spend time in Rome, Venice, and Florence, but is small and charming enough to traverse in a day. It was a typical day for us checking out Siena, moving through a maze of old, beautiful streets and making a beeline for food.
We had little to no plans and not many expectations for what we would do in Siena, so, we spotted the Duomo of Siena and admired it from the piazza, then had lunch, pasta of course, and hung around the city center.
Toward the end of the trip, we visited a farm. To get there, we took a breezy walk down a long dirt road, surrounded by fruit trees and saw sheep, goats, and geese, although thankfully partitioned away from me behind a fence. I am about as outdoorsy as you think I am. For me, “feeling outdoorsy” just means feeling like leaving my house. I stood up close and personal with one of the goats, (the fence wedged between us) watching him do nothing as other families gathered around to show the animals to their kids. A father explained to me that an apple was called a “mela” in Italian as he fed one to a “capra” although I did actually know that.
There were vestiges of old world beauty, with mossy stone ledges and an old abandoned well that had been grated over. We stayed at the farm until they closed, and then walked up the road past several other old, beautiful buildings that probably housed important things. The day was winding down and we set back on our way to Florence.
Being in Siena felt like being inside a painting that you have no wish to get out of. With stairs built into hillsides, crowded by lush, green nature, Siena is a place I won’t forget anytime soon. It was a quick, restorative trip down the countryside with fun people and amazing pasta.
I could wish for nothing better.
The Tragic Queen,