Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saturday in Siena!

Siena, nestled in the Tuscan hills, is a small Italian town well-known for their horse-races. In this giant piazza, the spectators stand for four hours in the middle – shoulder-to-shoulder – while the horses race around the outside track. The piazza is very unique in design, being built in a concave manner which allows the spectators to see more easily.

Our day in Siena did not include a horse-race. Instead, we checked out the world-renowned ceramics, visiting a small out-of-the-way business and meeting the owner: Marcello Neri. This charming man could not have been more genuine and welcoming as he showed us through his ceramic studio.

This is the Duomo of Siena, inspired by the Orvieto Cathedral,

and is an amazing cathedral with black and white marble stripes on the inside.

This is the main alter.

And the dome.

These pictures are in the Library. This is the ceiling:

These are the walls of the Library.

The marble mosaic floor is incredible in design. Every part of the floor has different scenes on it.

This statue is a self-portrait of Michelangelo. The detail is superb, down to the veins in his hands.

Siena is full of quaint little shops, and fashionable clothing shops.

The architecture is mainly Baroque.

All down one street were fish lanterns.

What a fun day to explore yet another beautiful Italian town.