View of Siena rooftops
Like pretty much every other person on the planet, we love Tuscany. Tuscany has everything going for it: architecture, scenery, food, wine, markets, and art. If you want to rave about narrow streets and yellowing buildings, you can do that. If you want to talk about churches that dazzle, you can do that. If you want to eat some of the best meals of your life ---- truffle flecked pasta, prosciutto with melon, pizza singed on coal burned ovens, fluorescent green olive oil and ciabatta --- you can do that. And, if you want to drink red wines that are earthy, smooth, fruity, or nutty, you can do that. Tuscany is amazing.
The funny thing is that, though we love Tuscany, it took us a long, long time to visit Siena, the second most important city. I think we expected it to be another Florence, another city overrun with tourists, where we wouldn't be able to see the charm through the throngs. But, we did.
The charms of Siena were almost immediately apparent in dull brick red and cobblestone streets, through the meandering alleys, over and across hills and stairs, and under bridges. The Duomo stunned in black and white.
It took us time to come to this city but, once we came, we came again and again.