Saturday, February 18, 2012

Faccio Una Passegiata

Today I communed with nature.

I know. I, Faith the nature hater, communed with nature. I can understand if you're worried that you're hallucinating right now.

But it turns out that after you live in a medieval walled city for a while, where the houses form a continuous block of stone and leave only a small rectangle at the top for the sky to peekthrough, you start to feel claustrophobic. Especially if you're from Texas, land of the big sky.

Almost every street looks something like this.

I haven't had a chance to explore Siena as much as I would like, because it's been so upsettinglycold here for the past few weeks, but this weekend it finally warmed up to about 50 F. Thus, since it was warmer, and most of my program is at Venice this weekend (alas, I'm poor), I decided to see some of Siena's sights, and find some grass.

Yesterday, I ventured out to, La Pinacoteca, Siena's art museum, where I saw 4 floors full of Byzantine art, with a little Renaissance thrown in. So many Madonnas.

Now for some wandering.

I found Contrada Tartuca! I love unexpectedly finding a new Contrada.

One of the gates to the city

Darling Italian garden (see the grass! mission accomplished)

Today I was once again crazy and in need of nature, so I went to see the Sanctuario della Santa Caterina, and find more grass.

Statue of St. Catherine inside her sanctuary

Now for grass. I made my way outside the walls again, and found myself a nifty little hike up the side of a hill.

View from the top

Why is this area enclosed? Is it a sheep pen? I really want it to be a sheep pen.
Sheep are just about the only farm animals that I don't actively despise/am not terrified of.

In fine, what's a good walk without a gorgeous sunset?

Sorry for the picture-heavy post, but the images describe everything far better than I would!

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