Monday, January 14, 2013

Italy Part 2: Siena

Even though we had about 10 days to see Italy I still felt like we didn't have near enough time to see everything we wanted to! After spending three months living in Siena, there were so many things I wanted to show Nick but had to just pick my favorites that we could squeeze into a day.
Siena isn't one of the most popular destinations for tourists but it's such a gem.
It's a step back into the middle ages and it's still crazy to me how old everything is there! And not just the historical landmarks--but the houses and shops, too. 
It was so fun to show Nick all of the places he had just heard about via email and phone calls :)
We started the morning off by climbing the famous Torre del Mangia, which I actually never climbed while I was living there so it was a first for both of us!
No such thing as elevators in this building! Our legs were sore for days after.
View from the top was totally worth it. Siena sits right in the heart of Tuscany so the views of the countryside were amazing. Pictures don't do them justice!
View of the Duomo and San Domenico
We lucked out and stopped by my favorite gelato shop on the last day it was open for the season. Free gelato for everyone!
And I of course had to make a stop for my favorite ricciarelli cookies!
The next stop was to show Nick the school I went to--Dante Alighieri. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it to any of their cooking classes but it was fun to see a couple of the teachers that I had while studying there.
 Everything was pretty much the same except this little hallway (my Italy friends will appreciate this). They added desks! This was literally the only place we could get a decent internet signal while at school so we would all sit on the floor to send our emails and upload our pictures to Facebook. Haha.
No matter how many times I see this church, it's still so amazing! The facade is incredible and the interior is just as intricate. Nick was blown away at how much detail the church has--there really is nothing else like it!
All of the bright fresco in the library is still original. Because of the bright light coming in through the windows, candles weren't really necessary so all of the artwork was preserved.
The doors of the baptistry
 I was so lucky to live with a wonderful host family in Siena. We've kept in touch after all these years and they were so nice to invite us to stay at their house while we were visiting Siena. Ben (my host dad) was on a trip the first couple nights we were there, but Anna still made us wonderful dinners and it was fun to see the boys who have grown up so much in the past four years! We also got to meet two other BYU exchange students--Stacie and Rita--who were living there during their program.
This is just one of the many dishes Anna made--traditional pasta e fagioli.
Panettone for dessert--traditional holiday dessert.