Our busy Saturday continued as we arrived in Siena, a magnificent town in Tuscany with a population of about 55,000. Siena is best known for its cuisine, art, slanted cobblestone streets, and as the site of the famous Palio horse race, which happens twice per year. We began out exploration of this beautiful city with a visit to the Basilica di San Domenico to admire the Gothic architecture and to see the relics of St. Catherine. Pressing on through the blazing heat, we walked to Piazza del Campo, the location where the Palio is held. Students found the shape and slant of the piazza to be molto interessante, and enjoyed hearing a brief description of the tradition of the Palio from some staff members who had personally witnessed it. After having a chance to recharge, cool off, and explore the city, studenti chose to either climb la Torre della Mangia (we like to climb, as I’m sure you’ve noticed!) or visit the majestic Duomo. Those climbing the tower (number 4 in the Summer 2011 Tower Challenge) ascended high above Palazzo Pubblico and were granted a truly breathtaking view of Piazza del Campo and the entire city of Siena. After a full day of adventure, exploring, and LOTS of walking, we were ready to hop back onto the bus and return home to Firenze.
Erin, Sara, Katie, Mirabelle, and Taylor in Piazza del Campo
We made it! At the top of la Torre della Mangia
Beat the heat for this incredible view!