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Siena

We woke at 7A and ate breakfast and showered and planned our day.

Aviva’s feet and legs hurt, and my lower back has started hurting, so we went slowly today. We started at the Duomo.

The front facade of the Duomo in Siena

The front facade of the Duomo in Siena

Front and side view of the Duomo

Front and side view of the Duomo

A lion's head on the Duomo facade

A lion's head on the Duomo facade

A strange creature on the facade of the Duomo

A strange creature on the facade of the Duomo

This time we got to go inside, and we got lucky – the floors are decorated with inlaid patterns which are only uncovered for one month a year, and we happened upon that month. There are numerous scenes in the floor – here are a couple.

A detail from the floor of the Duomo

A detail from the floor of the Duomo

A zodiac from the floor of the Duomo

A zodiac from the floor of the Duomo

There was someone restoring the floor while we were there. He was gluing down stone pieces – the glue smelled like a polymer, very bad.

An artisan repairing the floor of the Duomo

An artisan repairing the floor of the Duomo

An artisan repairing the floor of the Duomo, from the rear

An artisan repairing the floor of the Duomo, from the rear

There is a library started by Cardinal Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius III for 18 days before he died. Its very bright and decorated and has a number of illuminated works on display around the walls.

A view of the ceiling of the Libreria Piccolomini

A view of the ceiling of the Libreria Piccolomini

After the Duomo, we walked towards San Domenico; along the way we tried a panforte, which is a sweet dating back to the middle ages made from dried fruit, nuts and thickened honey, as they predate cane sugar. We stopped in front of the Monti di Pasche di Siena, the oldest bank here founded in 1472.

The original door to Monti di Pasche di Siena

The original door to Monti di Pasche di Siena

We then walked over to San Domenico. There are a couple of nice works of art inside. There’s also the head of St. Catherine inside a chapel.

The facade of San Domenico

The facade of San Domenico

A view of the Duomo from San Domenico

A view of the Duomo from San Domenico

The head of St. Catherine

The head of St. Catherine

We walked slowly back to our room. Along the way, we stopped at Bottega d’Arte, This is a store, run by Chiara Perinetti Casoni, with art painted after the medieval style of Siena using egg tempera on gold leaf on wood; the woman that runs the shop actually teaches local students how to paint in this old style (and, in the style of those times, she has them do the leafing and underpainting and she completes the details). We purchased a small painting of the Madonna based on a work by Ugolino di Nerio of Siena from the 14th century. I think its beautiful.

The small painting on wood we purchased in Siena

The small painting on wood we purchased in Siena

We ate at Due Arche again (same as our first night). My back is still sore.

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