Ah…. Siena…. What can I say about Siena that possibly describes this beautiful city? Maybe because we were slightly disappointed about Florence or maybe because it’s just what it is; but Siena was a pleasant surprise.
The city is just gorgeous but while still being touristic is has retained it’s original atmosphere. The centre is filled with medieval buildings and obviously the most famous square in Italy is the Piazza il Campo where each year the Palio is held. Seeing the square you do wonder how they manage to get all those horses racing in there, but when you look at the photos it is really not all that big.
We were told by one of the waiters of one of the many cafes around the square that apparently if you get a ticket to watch the palio you cannot leave the square for the next 6 hours and there is no shade whatsoever!! We were there for about 30 minutes in the sunshine and because it gently slopes downwards, there is almost no wind but loads of sunshine…. I think I would probably still grab the opportunity if it would ever happen but it’s not a good prospect to be standing in the scorching heat for 6 hours!!
We managed to find a great place for lunch at a small Osteria called Il Ghibellino, which was packed with Italian families when we arrived but we gladly waited for a table as the food that they were being served looked really good.
As a starter I had a delicious little pie made of Parmiggiano Reggiano and zucchini flowers, main was a pasta with ricotta and pomodori and no dessert (too many dessert where had already, so better skip one every once in a while…)
We walked around some more and had ice cream at Nanini I believe it is called which is supposed to be famous for it’s great ice cream. And it was good, but not as good as the icecream we had in San Gimignano at DiPiazza. If you’re ever there, go and look up that little shop. It will be worth it, I guarantee you!
Siena has many steep hills so after walking around for hours we starting to feel our feet and instead of staying for dinner we decided to spend our last day in Florence in Radda in Chianti where we had a lovely dinner before in the tiny bodega there. It’s small but perfect for a small meal and since we had a big lunch we figured a smaller dinner would be in order to be able to still fit into our pants the next day.. 🙂
The trip from Siena there is not too long as most of the distances within the Chianti region are fairly short, although most have many many winding roads (unless you take the highway that is)
From Siena to Chianti region
We chose for dinner just a plate of various pecorino cheeses for the girls and various salumi’s for the boys. Ofcourse mixed with a Chianti Classico, that was a perfect meal for another perfect day in paradise… (well, ok that is maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point!)
Gorzano di Maranello
The next day we would be leaving for the lovely little town of Gorzano di Maranello where we would stay at Ca’ Penelope and have that wonderful cooking lesson from Lorna but you already know all about that. By the way Gorzano itself is really not much, but the b&b is wonderful, so I should point that out before mass tourism will go in the direction of Gorzano to be entirely disappointed..lol…