I've always had a thing for Siennas so it should come as no surprise that Siena won the trip's "dreamiest city" award.  The entire town reminded me of an old Hollywood movie set complete with a ridiculously good-looking leading couple.  There were definitely a high concentration of touristas here but much different than those in Pisa.  Instead of annoying, the crowd somehow made you feel like impressing them as much as their fantastical surroundings.

The first pic is the entrance to the B&B which I highly recommend, La Magione Di Camollia.  I never did meet the owner but I talked to her on a pay phone (they still exist!) a couple of times for directions. I actually used the travel book I brought for the first time to get the directions from the stazione to town.  Once you exit the train station you enter a mall and take about 10 flights of escalators through a suburbian trance to get to the top of the hill where the village center sits.  The line between modernity and medieval times was a common theme in my sight-seeing but never so distinguishable as the introduction to Siena...like I said, dream-like.

I dropped my bags after check-in and took a peek at the Tuscan hillside:

The town itself filters down narrow, stone streets lined by local silversmith's shops, leather stores, and artisan wine and cheese shops; and ends up at the town center. 

 

 

It features fountains, impressive facades, and another tower (pic#3).  Being in flip-flops and feeling the effects of travel, I opted for the more sedentary approach depicted in pic#4. Notice the chunky Tuscan tomatoes--delicious.  Larry, you have to get me some seeds!

I did manage to get away from the food and wine long enough to explore the city's lesser-known attractions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final shot is from the terrace of the B&B just before sunset.  A gentleman from Seattle who works for REI shared his Moretti and a few good backpacking stories with me.  His wife is a DVM that loves the Nordic Pet line and its fierce champion, Bonnie Johnson. The only time on the trip that I thought of work :)
 
Cocktail note:  In the evening, as I wound through the maze of the village center, I discovered a bar that changed my perception of Lebowskis.  The bartender poured the vodka and Italian version of Kahula in a glass over ice and then used a shaker for the half-n-half with more ice.  Mmm...a frosty Lebowski.  Dreamy!
 
After reading a brochure for a wine and castle tour at the B&B, I wished I'd had another day here.  Ahh...finally I can look forward to a date with Siena!
 
disclaimer:  Sienna Miller has no official affiliation with this post though it was originally written with a burnt sienna crayon.

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