Day Trips to Siena and Orvieto

On the days we enjoyed at Gargonza, we took small day trips to surrounding cities in the Tuscan region. It was a fantastic way to see lots of Italian countryside and also provided a glimpse of the beauty of the old, smaller cities.  We spent most of our time in both cities simply wandering.  We enjoyed the streets and architecture, and of course, we also went to see the Duomos in each city.  In Siena, we started off on a hill overlooking the city and then continued on to the main piazza.


The View from Atop Siena



Piazza del Campo

Circling around the Piazza

More of the Piazza

 It’s hard to imagine how expansive this piazza is unless you see it in person.  Twice a year, they actually hold a medieval horserace in the piazza with surrounding city neighborhoods competing for the coveted banner of Mary.   The city revels in this race, which is only 3 minutes long, and emblems of the neighborhood “teams” appear everywhere–even on the ceramics they sell!

Next we wound our way through the streets of Siena and continued to the Duomo.

Streets of Siena

Siena's Duomo


Amazing Detail!

The next day, before heading to Rome, we stopped in a small little city called Orvieto.  Orvieto rests on the very top of a big hill which lends for great views of the Tuscan countryside.  We parked our car in a lot that was pretty far up the hill, and we still had to take 6 escalators to get to the city level. I’m just grateful they provided escalators at all!

In Orvieto we again wandered through the streets and visited the Duomo.  We ate lunch in a tiny little cellar butcher-shop where we had fresh proscuitto on hard rolls.  We also shopped for some hand-painted ceramics to bring home with us.  Perhaps my favorite part.  🙂 

Orvieto's Duomo

Orvieto's Duomo

The View from Orvieto

It was windy...

Castle View

City Walls


Pretty Countryside!

 We left the peace and quiet of Gargonza and the small cities and headed for Rome!  Stay tuned for pictures and commentary of the last leg of our journey in Italy.  🙂

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