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Getaway to Siena, Italy

If the Amalfi Coast is painted with shimmering pastels and flecks of gold, Siena, the jewel of Tuscany, is painted with bold, linear strokes of rich pigment aged over time.

 

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Scott and I spent a day in Siena, back in 2003, punctuated by wrong turns, a stint mistakenly driving in the no-vehicle zone and an epic heat wave. When we finally settled in and enjoyed the charms of an al fresco dinner, we vowed to return to this hilltop city someday. Siena was Scott’s top choice as a destination for our summer in Italy, so this was our time to revisit.

 

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We arrived in Siena via a luxury bus from Florence. Our smooth arrival quickly turned into a 30-minute panic involving a missing wallet (again!), containing a stack of Euros and our credit card. Scott had been pickpocketed on our first day in Lisbon several years ago and we had the same sinking feeling. By using some stealth memory skills –of a missing curtain and royal blue upholstery — we finally located the unmarked bus, among the 30 or so parked buses.  We spotted an off-duty bus driver, and following some pleading and the pro-offer of a monetary reward, he popped the lock on “our” bus. Scott bounded up the stairs and immediately spotted his wallet which had fallen between the seats. We were now bathed in sweat, with blisters rising on our feet, but incredibly relieved to have the wallet in possession. Looking back there were a few comedic moments, picture Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, with us running around, luggage in tow, trying to find our bus before it departed.

At long last, our reward was to be in Siena!

 

 

The architectural details capture the imagination in Siena.

The food and dining options in Siena are unforgettable. Among Italians, there is a passion towards food and wine that is contagious. Not only are the flavors fresh and lively, but the recipes and vines are steeped in the history of the region. Even the dishware represents centuries-old family history as we learned during a private wine tasting.

 

In Siena we were seeking an authentic, medieval city experience for our three-day stay. I researched long and hard to find a place, in the historic city center, that was charming and peaceful. We ended selecting a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in a former monastery. We were so pleased with our choice, owned by gracious Anna and Franco. I look forward to sharing our experience staying at their “luminous apartment’ in an upcoming post.

 

Whether a hotel or a private apartment, staying in the city center allows for easy access to a number of historic attractions, as well as the iconic, fan-shaped Piazza del Campo and the heart of the city. It is ideal for wandering, dining, shopping, or lounging on the stones of the square to capture the light show that is ‘evening’ in this place. It is dazzling!

 

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In Siena, if you pay attention, you can feel the rhythms of history, ancient battles fought, and the rich traditions of the area that continue. If you are fortunate enough to visit on July 2nd or August 16th you will witness the Palio of Siena festival where locals from the 17 neighborhoods compete. Though we visited in mid-July we were treated to a parade complete with horses, drummers, unfurled flags and cheering crowds in preparation for the Palio on August 16th. Palio is a deeply felt, emotional experience for the Sienese and fascinating to experience as a visitor.

To learn more about Palio.

 

A Stylish Wedding in Siena

For our previous stops during our summer in Italy:

Positano, Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri

For more on Siena.

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Have you been to Siena?

Are you looking for a fabulous apartment in Siena?

Contact me for more information and travel planning services.

Ciao!

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Curated Travel Services


*ALL IMAGES HEATHER LINDSTROM – Style*Mind*Chic Life

 

 

 

 

Heather Lindstrom

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8 comments

Reply

Gorgeous photographs of a beautiful city that looks very much as it did in 1968, the first time I spent time there as a student. Thank you for the reminders of its glories!

Reply

You are so welcome, Leslie! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed my images and a walk down memory lane in Siena today. It is MAGNIFICENT!
Ciao!
xx

Reply

How I long to travel again to Europe! Lovely and romantic place, isn’t it!

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Absolutely! I find Italy to be so charming and photogenic. :)
xx

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Oh, Heather! This post is breathtaking – the stunning photos and accompanying descriptions make me happy I am headed back to Italia soon! Bravo!!! Have a wonderful week, dear friend! xoxo

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Thank you, Sandy! Siena is magnificent–have you been? I’m so excited for you with your upcoming getaway to Italy! You know I will be following along with every image in IG! ;)
xx

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OMG!!! I love Siena….spent 8 weeks, alone, discovering Italy.(my 35th wedding anniversary gift from my husband…it was a soul searching trip) Spent several days in siena and I think I ate at that restaurant pictured above and my time spent in the arena watching people and eating huge olives with wine!!! I am so happy to see your info about the apt…I stayed in hotel a block or so away but would have loved an apt. Because of good train station, siena would make great home base.
And the shopping?? oh my……bought beautiful art and bags and shoes….it was not healthy for my pocketbook!!!
I think I took over 300 images in my time there!!

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Wow, Janey — an 8 week trip to Italy sounds amazing! Your husband gave you a very generous gift! There is something about traveling that brings a level of self awareness that we don’t always get in our day to day lives. I can just picture you there at the Piazza drinking wine, eating olives and people-watching. Thanks for sharing your fun memories and for stopping by the blog!
Ciao!
xx

Love to have you join the conversation!