Siena is really a magical city that hosts many tourists every year, in which you can still see its medieval roots, but it is also a modern city too, with an important university. Have you ever been to Siena? I have! A couple of times. The first time was when I was a student in college and I visited the city with my Art History professor. I remember very well the unique piazza in which twice a year the famous Palio of Siena is held, a type of horse race in which the neighborhoods of Siena challenge each other.
I also visited the main city hall where I saw the beautiful frescos of “Good and Bad Government” painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1338 in the Hall of the Nine. Then with the other students I climbed to the top of the Palazzo Ducale to enjoy the breathtaking view of the countryside. From there we could see all of Tuscany in every direction…I saw the trees and fields of grain and grapes. They were images that I had seen many times in Renaissance paintings, but I had always thought they had been stylized; from such heights however, I realized that the painters had captured the landscape exactly as it was! What a revelation!
In Siena I also enjoyed exploring the famous Duomo. It is a beautiful church, with and exterior designed in black and white marble in alternating stripes, with red marble added to its facade. Black and white are the symbolic colors of Siena and recall the black and white horses of the founders of the legendary city – Senio and Aschio. Perhaps it is only a legend…who knows!? The Church dates back to 1215 and the lantern that sits on top of the Duomo was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the famous Baroque architect and sculptor that designed many fountains and sculptures in Rome.
Follow the link below to listen to Sarah, a young woman who was raised in Toronto in Canada – the daughter of an Italian father and a Canadian mother. But, several years ago, after traveling in Italy, she fell in love with Italy and in particular, the city of Siena. Now she considers Siena her adopted town. She will talk some more about all of this in more detail. She will also talk about her work, about her experiences with the language, her love for Italy and especially her passion for Siena and her reasons for moving there for an undetermined period of time. Sarah is a fun and interesting girl. She travels often to see other countries around the world, but she always seems to return to Italy and the city that stole her heart. When she isn’t writing her blog, she is teaching languages. In her free time Sarah enjoys life drinking prosecco, eating chocolate and tasting various types of gelato! Today Sarah has some wonderful news to tell us! She is about to move to Italy to live and work there – in Siena! After months of red tape and dealing with bureaucracy to get her Italian living permit, she has finally had success. Now with it in hand, she is ready to leave for Italy and change her life.