Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 Italy - Day 9 - To Siena

The hotel had some nice grounds with a view of Orvieta. Sharon went out on the grounds before breakfast to meditate. After breakfast, we packed up the room and loaded the car. It was a relatively easy drive to Siena.

Unfortunately, I got to spend two hours with the Italian police once we got to Siena, but that is a story for another day...

We eventually got to our hotel. We are spending the next two nights at the Hotel Athena. We have two ajoining rooms. It is very comfortable. The hotel was a 10 minute walk to the Piazza del Campo.

To my surprise, the Campo is set-up for the annual Palio [horse race]. It turns out that the horse race is Monday, July 2, but there are trials leading up to the main event. We didn't know this when we scheduled the trip. It does explain why we had some trouble finding a hotel room that we liked.

We had an expensive lunch on the piazza. They were literally tearing down the restaurant for the evening trial as Sharon and Morgan were finishing lunch.

Afterwards we wandered to the Duomo. I bought all inclusive tickets that covered a number of sites around the cathedral. I also got what I thought were audio tours. It turns out that they have multimedia guides based on Android tablets. We started in the Duomo and then headed to the museum. This took more than two hours. At this point, everyone was done. I felt like the guides were well worth the price.

We headed back to the hotel and lounged for a bit. We ended the day with a late dinner. After looking for one of the restaurants in the guide books that had a 20 minute wait, we picked a different nearby restaurant for dinner. I had risotto and osso bucco for the first time on the trip. After a couple of glasses of wine, the group replayed the events of our arrival in Siena...

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