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Our Wakes: 2017

Siena ( 14-15 March- 2017)
Siena is the capital of Tuscany located 190km north of Roma. The city is located on the top of a mountain. The modern developed part of Siena has been unable to spread into the high part of Sienna so the city looks like it was in previous centuries. In March, when we were there, only a few tourists were present, which made the visit very pleasant. According to the legend the city of Siena was founded by the two sons of Remulus founder of Roma hence you will find numerous statues of the wolf which they took from Roma. When you approach Siena you immediately notice the two towers of the major buildings. The highest tower is the tower of the city hall. It was built from 1322 to 1344 and reaches a height of 102 meters. In front of the city hall you have a big plaza, Piazza del Campo, were tourists like   to sit and relax in the sun or to observe the surrounding buildings.. In July and on the 12 of August  a famous horserace is organized here in which horses have to race three times around the piazza. At that time the whole city tries to see this event and the place is packed with people. The Cathedral or Duomo is another highlight of Siena. It was built using black and white marble la id horizontally. This is quite unique. Inside you have numerous interesting pieces of art such as mosaics and paintings. The mosaics represent famous bible scenes such as the massacre by Herod. Around the Cathedral, there are also remarkable places to visit such as the crypt that is located underneath the cathedral. Unfortunately, the crypt did suffer from the weight of the cathedral and some parts of it are damaged. Nevertheless, some parts of frescos are visible, but recently, several pieces that were damaged during the earthquake in Norcia in 2016 were transferred from the crypt to be stored in a safe place while awaiting restoration.   The baptistery is also a very interesting place to visit. It is full of beautiful statues and frescos. Opposite the entrance of the Domo you find the old hospital, but we only visited the church. The church has a very impressive ceiling and behind the altar there is a pool that refers to the pool were Jesus healed the sick. I do not know if in the past patients were brought to the pool with the hope of being healed. A beautiful organ is also visible in the church. The Opera museum is another obligatory place to visit. Inside there are a lot of items from the cathedra that have been transferred for better preservation. The advantage is that you can have a very close look at the paintings, statues and bells. The way the pieces are exhibited is really cleverly done and allows visitors to see the skills of the artists of the time. You can end the visit of the museum by going out on the roof from where you can view Siena from high up. The stairs leading to the the roof are narrow, so the guards act as traffic controllers to prevent traffic jams on the stairway. We loved Siena and we can really recommend that you visit it, but if possible, before Easter as then it is still not crowded and the temperature is very pleasant.
Piazza del Campo
City Hall
Opera Museum
Hospital Church
Detail Herod Massacre
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