Another short hop of 20km today has brought us to Siena. We had a bit of a lazy start by pushing the alarm back to 6am and then taking a leisurely breakfast in the bar opposite our hostel. It was leisurely because the croissants were still cooking when we arrived. And then Silvia appeared just as we were ready to leave so we started breakfast all over again. She said she was the only person in her hostel last night. That happened to me on one occasion last year and it’s very spooky.
Eventually we were all on our way. Monteriggioni is such a tiny place, enclosed by walls and with a few shops selling tourist merchandise. It’s smaller than a football pitch and we were soon out and away.
After a few kilometres it became apparent why there is a paint called Siena. The soil around here is a rich, deep red rusty colour and looking at the landscape gives the sensation of being immersed in an oil painting. And just to emphasise the point, the heavy overnight rain turned the path into a richly coloured mud which clung to our boots. It was a Tuscany moment on the long way to Rome.
We were soon in Siena and said goodbye to Silvia. She has successfully completed her four day walk and was brimming with pride and confidence and ready to face her family. Next year she plans to tackle the path from Siena to Rome.
Paul booked us an apartment on Airbandb because we are taking a rest day in Siena. Our experience to date has been ok but forgettable. This place is jaw droppingly memorable. Inside, the apartment is tastefully furnished but it is the view which is so impressive. We are located on the main square, Piazza del Campo, and from our balcony, which runs along the living area and the main bedroom (it’s my turn for the main bedroom) we can look out over the square onto the Palazzo Pubblico with its 14th century Torre del Mangia and watch a succession of couples being married. It’s just like that great 1985 film based on E. M. Forster’s “A Room with a View”. And all for 170 Euro for two nights.
We have bought pasta, sauce, salad, wine and fruit for dinner on the terrace. I doubt there is a finer view in the whole of Siena.
Cat on a hot tin roof
The fine Siena mud
Wedding in the Piazza
You can still see the race track from last week’s race