Today we visit two cities, one we had planned to see, and one was a stop off during a long drive, but they both had the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen.
After a nice relaxing day the day before, we started to make our way to Siena. We arrived on the outskirts of Siena and parked up. We started our walk towards the centre, and just to warn anyone that visits, it goes up and quite steeply too. Don’t worry though, for all you people without animals, there is an escalator that takes you to the top, but with our boys we decided to take the option of walking. After making it to the top, we come out into a lovely piazza.
Piazza del campo
The piazza del campo is an unusual one, in that the centre was a fan shape, that they introduced the Palazzo Pubblico, the palace of Siena. Across from the palace there was a beautiful fountain with some wonderful detail for you to enjoy. After walking up the hill, it was a great spot to just stop for a minute and recover. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes surrounding the piazza for you to relax for a little while.
We then walked around the city to discover all of the in’s and outs of Siena. As we have found with most Italian towns/cities, they do signpost there main attractions but they are not easy to follow. They will sometimes just stop, or the signs won’t be on every turn, so it is easy to take a wrong path. Our suggestion is – if you want to go straight to the main attractions, then get a map in order not to get lost. Like us, if you don’t mind getting a little lost, then just take a leasurly walk until you find what you want. It can be surprising what you can find along the way (though check each city before you travel, it isn’t always recommended that you go off the beaten path, after all, they are still cities and some can be dangerous).
After a casual walk (and maybe getting a little lost), we came towards the cathedral. Soon as we laid eyes on it, we knew it was pure beauty. There is no words or photos that can do it justice and it needs to be seen for anyone to understand. The colour and detail that went into this building is just remarkable, and to see it now in such great condition is beautiful. This is now our favourite building we have seen so far, and will take something beautiful to surpass this.
Once we could take our eyes away from this building, we made our way back through the city and back towards the car. We hit some lovely paths and got some nice views of the houses in Siena, which are just as lovely as most of the houses in Italy.
Once we had finished looking around Siena, we started to research somewhere we could visit before we hit Rome. That’s when most people were saying to visit Orvieto. We hadn’t really heard of this place, but had great reviews so off we went towards this unknown city.
As soon as we were in sight of Orvieto, we could see why it was so highly rated. Simon: I also realised, on sight, it was another place on my list to visit. It is situated on volcanic tuff and is high above anything else within the area. From a distance it looked to have so much pride, as it just sat on top of this tuff overlooking everything around it.
Again like Siena, the parking is at the bottom and you have to make your way up. This is a lot higher than Siena so this time we opted to take the lift, which the boys didn’t seem to mind about.
It’s a lovely little city that seems to be in a world of its own. Soon as you enter the walls, you feel like you have gone back in time, and you can imagine how it would have been in its day of power. Simon: Little fact for you – Orvieto has only ever been conquered once – by Gaius Julius Caesar himself. We made our way down the cobbled streets and sqaures to see what it had to offer. The buildings all around Orvieto were beautiful and looked nearly untouched from when they were built. There are many places to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere of this little city.
Once you can drag yourself into the centre, you will come across it’s cathedral, and after seeing Sienna’s this morning I thought nothing would compare. How wrong I was. Based on the cathedral of Siena, the same beauty and detail shine though in a smaller form. It is very similar to Siena but it’s beautiful in its own right, and visiting both I think is important to appreciate this.
So, in one day, we visited two great cities that were very different but had equally beautiful cathedrals that, if anyone was in the area, I would recommend for you to see. After a culture filled day, it was time to get some rest, as the best was yet to come, with us heading to Rome in the morning…….