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Question 09

How is Siena, Siena and not anywhere else?

In Siena: You go up stairs and/or escalators to get into the city.  The streets hold little trash.  Less cars and Vespas buzz by.  You are surrounded by stripes.  Green and rolling landscapes border the walls.  People sit or lie down in piazze.  Horses race around the Piazza del Campo once a year during an event called the Palio.  You find yourself wondering where all the people are.  You’ve climbed the Torre del Mangia and seen the whole city from the top.  You’re still wondering why the name translates as “Tower of the Eater”.  All the rooftops look the same.  Medieval buildings seize control over the city.  The Duomo has as many tourists as St. Peter’s.  Each contrada is represented by an animal or mascot.  The coat of arms is on almost all major buildings.  The locals have an overwhelming sense of Sienese pride.  The air is a little colder.  The leaves are changing colors.  And even though you love this small city, by the end of the trip, you can’t wait to get back home, to Rome.

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