Historically Sienna has always been competing with Florence. As far as I can tell, Florence has beat them at most things. But in some ways I preferred Sienna. It had more of a small town feel and everyone there was so friendly. It is built on some hills and gives the streets a unique feel as you wander around going up and down the slopes of the narrow walkways.

There are 17 neighborhoods in Sienna and each is represented by and animal. Some of the neighborhoods hung banners of their animal, it was festive and fun. Just after stopping to take this picture a little old lady leaned out of her window above us to dote on Jonah. Old people here just looooove kids. I get to practice my Italian a lot thanks to my little man.

You have probably seen pictures of the famous tower in Sienna. It’s in this great amphitheater like square that all slopes towards the tower as if it were a stage. Jonah had a great time chasing pigeons there. There is a bareback horse race around this square two times a year, we might have to come back 🙂

I love how a lot of the old cities in Italy still have things from the past just lying around. In Sienna there were tons of “horse parking spot” or metal rings to tie your horse up. You see these things a lot, and also the torch holders for old school street lights.

Sienna is famous for a “fruit cake”. It was pretty good for fruit cake, but it was still fruit cake if you know what I mean.

Sienna’s patron saint is this lady named Catherine. She received the stigmata (basically gouged herself in the hands and feet and said it happened by the spirit), and convinced the pope to return to Rome. The people loved her so much that they now have her head, that’s right, her actual head all shriveled up and gross, on display in this church in Sienna. Oh and also her thumb. I guess she’s pretty important to all of Italy because there are “relics” of her in lot’s of churches.

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