Sunday, May 28, 2017
The Narrow Streets of Siena
My hotel in Siena was just outside the walled center of the city so my very first glimpse of Siena although beautiful and oozing with Tuscan charm, gave no hint of what I was going find beyond the gates into the ancient part of the city.
The streets were narrow and yet used by both pedestrians and vehicles. Fortunately, drivers were careful as they rounded corners and eased their way through the streets.
Every turn on to another street revealed more buildings that have housed families for centuries and are still homes and businesses.
Beautifully adorned grocery stores tempted me with perfect looking fruits and vegetables not to mention the pasta of every shape and size. If I'd had a kitchen available to me I would have certainly picked up the fresh ingredients for a lovely Tuscan dinner.
Siena has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site and all you have to do is walk these narrow streets to see why. It was the first place settled by the Etruscans between 900 and 400 BC. Imagine that! At one time in its history, it was home to 50,000 people.
I found my self wondering what it must have been like to live in the city at that time and every now and then I would run across a person in period clothing adding flavor to my growing imagination.
Siena is the kind of place where it's easy to feel what it must have been like to live in a city more than a thousand years ago. I'm sure we twenty-first century humans would find it impossible but to those living there at that time it was the normal way of life.
Siena is a magical place that I'd love to explore again one day.