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Soggy in Siena

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Nov. 1st, 2010 | 07:21 pm

... so as I mentioned, it's raining in Siena. Nonstop, all day. Still raining now. I'm going to keep this post short because I'm tired and I want to get up early and see more of the town before I have to leave on an afternoon train.

The trip here by train from Florence was only 1.5 hours. The train station was annoying -- like pretty much the rest of Italy, it's not set up the handicapped or people with heavy luggage -- there was an elevator which was out of order so I had to haul my 60ish lb bag up and down a flight of stairs to exit. (The desk clerk at my hotel tells me this elevator has been broken for at least the last six months. I guess no one in a wheelchair ever comes to Siena. Actually, the trains aren't handicapped accessible either, so I guess it doesn't matter if the stations are. To board a train you have to climb three steep steps.) Also annoying was the lack of signs indicating where to pick up a taxi.

So now I've complained about all that, I'll tell you that Siena has the most beautiful cathedral I've ever seen or am likely to see. And the town itself is straight out of a fairy tale. It's entirely medieval, pretty much frozen, architecturally, in the 14th century. The main piazza is stupendous and when you're there you realize that every place should have a piazza like it. No other place does.

My travel agent booked me into a very swanky hotel -- they claim they're the only 5-star hotel in Siena. Which is fine, but meanwhile the complimentary fruit platter they put in my room, which I really didn't want, contained a nectarine that when I picked it up proved to have a big ugly rotten moldy gash on it, so, uh, no thank you.

The room reminds me of my old apartment on Morton Street, where the ceilings were higher than the width of the rooms themselves. But it's very nice, and the view! This is the Italian window view people dream of.
Siena seen at dusk from my hotel room window
Here's a link to the other pics I took today, inside the duomo and out.


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