Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Siena, Italy

We loved strolling the streets of this ancient medieval town! The whole town is UNESCO World Heritage site! Every place you look is completely instagramable! Siena is home to the oldest bank in the world. It has been in continuous operation since 1472! The area of the town has been populated since 900 BC! We visited pizza shops, Gelato shops, and high-end candy shops that were giving away free samples! There was even a shop doing free samples of truffles that are famous in the region. 

Aubrey was excited to see the Capitoline Wolf that she just had studied! According to a local legend, the city of Siena was founded by a pair of twins named Aschius and Senius. When they were very young, their wicked uncle murdered their father and claimed his throne, so they fled into the forest on two horses, one white and one black. There the two young boys survived by being suckled by a she-wolf, and when they grew up they founded a city called Siena, after Senius; they took the she-wolf as the symbol of their city, and the colors of the horses as their banner. The legend has proved extremely resilient: the she-wolf is a vivid presence all over the city of Siena even today, and the half-white/half-black animal still takes its place on display during the Palio, the traditional horse race run in the main square of Siena twice every summer.
We were here just days before the famous horse race, Palio di Siena. There are 17 neighborhoods in Siena. A lottery decides which 10 of the neighborhoods will be represented at each race, with 1 horse/jockey from their hood. The race is held in the center of the town known as Piazza del Campo. This was a really festive time to be here as there are neighborhood parties and dinners and so much excitement the days leading to the race. These races have been a tradition since 1633. Each neighborhood has its own flag.
All 4 of us placed our guess on which neighborhood would win. Drago was the winning neighborhood when we were there. I picked the winning flag/neighborhood!
As I was exiting the museum, a bird pooped on my head! Being hit with bird poop might not seem like an ideal way to start your day, but Italians believe that bird poop is a great symbol of good luck. Must have been how I chose the winning flag! 

We stayed in Siena for free using hotel points at the Four Points by Sheraton. Next visit I would rather stay at something that felt more Tuscan, as this just felt like a typical American hotel. There is so much history around and it is a shame not to immerse yourself in it. It was a perfect hotel for a free stay though.
Scroll down for some breathtaking Tuscany photos!

I just love the Tuscany landscape!

We may have ate here, twice
 "The American" Pizza with fries on it, haha

            Perfect quote! 

Our girls on the steps

Nice parking job!

Near San Gimignano

The most beautiful picture of Jesus I have seen

Gorgeous Tuscan road!


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