Hey guys! Hey! Over here!
*jumps up and down and waves*
Do you remember how, this time last year, I went travelling for four months around North America and Europe? And how I took you on little tours of each place I visited via my “Glimpses of…” series?
Well, guess what? Almost a year later, I discovered that I forgot to present my Siena Show and Tell to you.
So here it is: my very last travel post from my 2009-2010 explorations. Posting this makes me feel like a part of me is gone, so anyone who’d like to contribute to my becoming a Whole Person again, feel free to send donations to my travel fund.
(A girl can dream.)
Glimpses of Siena, Italy
Basilica of San Domenico, also known as Basilica Cateriniana
This might look like a boring old building to you. I pray thee, though, cast off thy first impressions and come with me (figuratively; I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside) into the fantastical depths of religious belief systems. This church, you see, houses relics of Saint Catherine of Siena (1347 – 1380), who brought the Papacy back to Rome and is one of the two patron saints of Italy.
Want to know what I mean by “relics”?
I mean “her skull and her thumb”. Yep. I have had the honour of being separated from a 630-year-old thumb by no more than a thin shield of glass. I bet you wish you could say the same.
Why hello there, enormous pizza. Can I use you as an umbrella?
I wish stores in Australia would keep a pet fox in their front windows. Because regardless of whether it’s a Fantastic Mr or is friends with a Hound, everyone knows that a fox is nothing but friendly, cuddly, courteous, and good with customers.
Duomo di Siena
The gorgeous ceiling of the Cathedral of Siena.
Duomo di Siena
The gorgeous floor of…. hey look! It’s my bung toe! *laughs riotously* Oh, bung toe, how you plagued every step of these travels… (Double meaning: snap!)
Inside the Duomo di Siena
Is this lion:
a) eating the animal below it
b) making love to the animal below it
c) all of the above?
Siena’s Piazzo del Campo, where the famous bareback horse race (Palio di Siena) takes place twice each year. I think the most fascinating/terrifying/hilarious aspect of this race is that it’s possible for a horse to win without a rider. Apparently, no one cares if the jockey falls off somewhere along the way, so long as his/her horse crosses the finish line. What fun! (Actually, I fully intend to compete in the future, following on from my stellar trail ride on Christmas Eve.)
It’s now time for me to show you the best part of Siena. The bestest best bestiful part.
Oh, come on. You know I’m not talking about the Torre del Mangia. Architecture, schmarchitecture. No, I’m talking about Relanghe’s Torrone Friabile con Mandorle e Pistacchi. In other words, hard nougat with almonds and pistachios.
This confection was incredibly expensive but oh, oh, oh so worth it. If I close my eyes, I can still almost taste the fresh, sweet, honey-notes in the crispy, cleaving, shattering torrone, and the bright, roasted, epitomical-nuttiness of the almonds and pistachios.
Just try to tell me you don’t want some.
Teehee! Bung toe photo-bombs again!
That is all.