Exploring Siena

I left Rome on a grey morning to head to Siena, I took the bus and it was about 3.5 hours. I got there and it was packed with people at the sprawling outdoor market. It was filled with clothes, leather shoes, verdant ceramics, sheep’s cheeses, golden oranges and everything pretty much imaginable under the sun including cacti. I wandered through the streets of Siena, it has a more closed in-feel to Rome, perhaps because the medieval buildings sort of lean inwards when you are walking through them. After a buffet lunch I met a couple of friendly Italians (an Italian and Sicilian) and we went to the nearby Colle Val D’Elsa to check out the crystal museum. Crystal production has occurred and continues to this day. I was particular enamored with the perfume set (pictured below). In Siena I went to a few churches including one dedicated to Santa Caterina, a mystical thinker and Siena-born holy figure, c. 1347, known for her empathy, the gift of tears, and her erudite scholarship. There is a statue of Saint Caterina, Saint Catherine near Castle Santangelo. She also received the stigmata.

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