It was back to the madding crowds in Sienna – a popular tourist destination any time of the year, but on this sunny, early Summer day we found ourselves in the midst of tourism.
We have been relatively spoilt to date – Egypt was empty, Jordan is too challenging for most, Istanbul was busy but not all of Turkey, Greece has lost tourism and we got off the beaten track in Bulgaria and Romania.
We have got into the habit of taking our photos without tourists in sight. Sometimes we need to wait a little, but we have the time. In Sienna that was impossible. I guess that will be the story of our travelling from now on – in Central Europe and in Summer.
Sienna is tiny, a compact town, built on a rocky outcrop, with streets that curve and twist, making for interesting alleyways and arches.
The main square, Il Campo is enormous, curving down to the Palazzo Comunale, with the paving giving the impression you are sitting in a large shell.
The cathedral is spectacular – a striped facade of grey and white, intricatelly decorated with carved marble and travertine.
In July and August there is the famous horse race called Il Palio. It is in memory of Remus’s son Senio and his brother Aschio who fled Rome and arrived in Southern Tuscany following an almost interminable, mythological race known as “Palio alla Lunga”, chased of course by Romulus’s knights.
But that doesn’t explain to me why there are so many statues of Romulus & Remus in Sienna.