Sunday, August 07, 2005

Under the Tuscan Sun

We took a bus to Siena yesterday... it was a Sunday and the bus queue was incredibly long. And to make matters worse.. the crowd did not exactly queue and the bus driver was yelling in vain for all of us to queue. We were like the people of the Malaysian bus stops.. all shoving and pushing so that we get to go in. We had to take the 12.10pm bus as we missed the 10.10 am earlier.. do not go on weekends.. the buses are few.

Siena was normal.. not really that spectacular after the beauty that we experienced in Assisi *definitely must put Assisi on your list if you want to go to Italy*. It is a medieval city that supposedly delightful but as we walked on foot around the place, we noticed that only Piazza Del Campo was anything to shout about. Used as a horse racing ground during the summer called Palio Di Siena, it is however filled with locals and tourist just basking in the glory of the ancient buildings surrounding them. And a tall tower.. not unlike the tower out of Harry Potter rises like a graceful phoenix in the dark forbidding sky.

Everything was brown but I was a bit disappointed after having such great expectations of the Tuscan region. However it was ok but I should think that Siena could be given a miss.

We took the bus to San Gimignano today. We had to take the bus to Poggibonsi and change to San Gimignano. What we did not know was that we needed to take the bus to Siena. Since there was a bus to Poggibonsi stated on the tv screen at the bus station, we thought it was that and missed the actual bus instead. How terribly confusing.

San Gimignano rises on a hill (334m high) dominating the Elsa Valley with its 13 towers. From the Torre Grosso, a tower which had me in fear and trembling as I climbed the seemingly endless flight of unprotected steps which metal steps that had holes in it so that you can see how far down you will fall if you are careless, I managed to see the beauty of the rolling hills and green plains. Climbing down was another ball shrinking exercise. I was suitably exhausted after the climb..not from the physical exertion but the mental torture of acrophobia.

I bought a lovely apple green box bag which I could not resist at €50 and met a charming shopkeeper in the process. He said that I was the first person that he has met who asked if I could touch the merchandise first. He actually only became charming after I asked for permission to handle the goods. He then went on and on about how inconsiderate tourists are about fingering merchandise and how the kids with sticker fingers due to eating gelati would ruin his goods.

We had vernaccia wine gelati which can only be found in SG. I had a glass of lovely SG wine whilst basking in the warm sun rays seated in a chair overlooking the hills and plains of the gorgeous region.

Then it was back to dirty Florence.. and I don't mean Foong Sim

1 comment:

Elitre said...

Hi, I've just read your post, if you're interested in Palio di Siena take a look at my blog with lots of 2005 pics and a link to see the last Palio movie (free). Ciao...