Tuesday, April 13:  Siena

Today I got up as usual and walked over to my parent’s room to wake them up. My mom had already started washing the clothes, and I asked my dad if I could use the computer. He said to wait because my brother’s button was broken, and he was trying to fix it. But when he finished he said my brother could use it because he hardly ever touches it. So, instead, I played solitaire. Soon everybody was hungry, so we went down to breakfast. I had the same thing as everyday, except for the lemon-orange yogurt, which reminded me of Sorrento. We then finished, and I went upstairs. My brother had to write in his journal, so I used the computer. My dad also needed to run some errands in the town, so he took Robert with him. I played for a while, until Robert and Dad came home, and then I got off and grabbed my pack to go to Siena! I piled into the car and played cards while my dad drove. It wasn’t a long drive, so we were soon there, looking for parking. We eventually found some near a stadium, but we had to pay. I got out and walked up the stairs into the center of town. But my mom, as usual, had to go to the water closet (restroom). She payed 30 cents to use it , and then we were on our way.

Photo 246  Mom Having her Birthday Dinner at the Latini
Photo 247  A Grassy Field in Tuscany
The first stop was the San Dominico Church. I thought it was pretty ugly, because of all of the modern stained glass that looked like a kid did them. The neat part, though, was that it had Saint Catherine’s finger and head on display, perfectly preserved! My dad came later because he forgot to lock the car, and we just showed him the body parts. After that we walked to the Il Campo plaza, and it wasn’t a long walk there. It was a bit crowded though, especially at the fountain. My favorite part was that the bricks were divided into 9 parts, for some sort of 9 person government a long time ago. The fountain near the edge was cool though too, but I couldn’t see much because of the pigeons. I read in my Siena book that there were horse races here on July 2 and August 16 of every here. It is called the Palio, and is very famous. Once we had seen everything here, we walked to the Duomo for this town. It was amazing! The outside was completely decorated with sculptures everywhere. There was also a huge white and green tower. Avoiding the bird droppings, we walked inside. It was magnificent, but not as cool as the outside. My mom said we should buy an audio guide to listen to, so we did. I followed the numbers on the map and pressed the right buttons and listened. I mainly learned that the Reamus and Ramulus story where they were helped out by a wolf, had a sequel. The sons of Reamus escaped from their home, and only carried the statue of the Reamus and Ramulus story, showing them and the wolf. They then stopped at an area, and named the town Siena. But everything else I learned was interesting too. After that we walked outside and sat down on the wall, while I looked at all of the cool dogs, including a huge hairy one that even my mom couldn’t recognize.

My parents then planned out that Robert and Dad would look at jerseys, and leave us to go to a museum. The museum was right next to the Duomo, so we went in. I was free, but my mom was 6 euro. The main things were the actual statue of Reamus and Ramulus (a lot of other sculptures did them, but this was the original). After looking around a bit, we climbed a big tower and looked out at Siena. It was very pretty, but we soon went back down to see the Maesta, by Ducio. It was very big and full of gold, and I liked it a lot. The room was very humid though, to preserve the paintings. I read in my book that the four people kneeling were the patron saints of Siena.

After that we left and went to the fountain in Il Campo to meet Robert and Dad. It took a while for them to come, but they did. They had no luck, but stopped for gelato and found a place to eat dinner. They took us to the Trattoria La Tellina, but it wasn’t open for another hour. So we wandered around, and found a nice coffee machine with an American plug, but was 3 times too expensive. My dad was thinking of getting my mom one for a belated birthday present. Mom and I decided to have gelato, because they already had some. My dad showed us where it was, and it looked good. I ordered the cream and the chocolate ice cream. The cream was new, but was very, very, good. I managed to make a good mess, so we went to the restaurant so I could wash my hands. It was then open, so we went in. I washed my hands and then ordered tortellini with tomato sauce. It was very good, but it was getting late, so we walked back to the car and drove home to go to bed. I wonder what Volterra will be like tomorrow?