Italy2013 A study of Renaissance Art throughout Italy

June 10, 2013

Day Trip to Siena

Filed under: Uncategorized — cfroncek @ 12:16 am

The fountain at Sienna A street in Sienna A door in Sienna A view of the city A funny sign The Romanesque Cathedral

 

We got on the bus after breakfast for a beautiful drive through the Italian countryside. An hour or so later we arrived in the quaint town of Siena. It really felt like walking back in time, since its so small you really got the feel for what a Medieval town would be like, with the large Romanesque cathedral on the hill and smaller dwellings scattered on the slope below.
The first church we visited was renowned for containing an important religious relic, the head of St. Catherine of Siena. This saint hailed from Siena as her name suggests, and is a very important religious figure for the town. However, the relic made me feel uncomfortable; it looked like a piece of Halloween décor with a veil. Also, I wondered how they could claim this was the head without modern DNA samples and evidence, needless to say, my inner Biology nerd was disconcerted. Nevertheless, you could tell that it was important to the people of the city, with an extensive shrine and small hearts all around the relic.
After seeing this relic, we wandered around the steep streets and back routes until we made our way to the Romanesque Cathedral on the hill. I loved the architecture, where the columns were striped with black and white granite. There was also an interesting tiled section of the floor which depicted the symbol for each of the main cities in Italy. Rome was represented by an Elephant, and Florence by a bird. According to Ancient History.about.com the symbol for Rome is the elephant because of Julius Ceasers military campaign against Ariovistus in 58 at the battle of Vosges. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/ancientarchitecture/ss/120612-Caesar-Elephant-Denarius-C-49-B-C.htm
Some other sights we saw today were the Piaza Del Campowith the bell tower, and interesting street art. Additionally, I had my favorite salad of the trip in the scenic brick piazza. The salad consisted of thinly shaved zucchini, Parmesan cheese, and tomatoes with an aged raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. It was light without sacrificing the fantastic flavors of Italian cuisine.

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