Dino and Giancarla drove down yesterday and we took a drive to Siena. This is a very beautiful city about a half an hour south of Florence. July 2nd in Siena there was a horse competition that is held annually and it is called Palio. The center of town is turned into a racetrack and the horses are run right in the middle of town. Each of the town quarters enter horses. This year the Goose quarter won and you can see the flags and parade for the goose team.
Note that the revelers are all sucking on baby pacifiers — we were unclear exactly why but Dino guess it was a way of saying you all suck — we won. Or suck it!
After that we went to the cathedral in town. Since Siena was such an important centralized town in the middle ages they had great wealth from trade. The cathedral represented this wealth as you can see from its splendor. These pictures do not adequately show the size and opulence of the place.
An interesting note. If women were underdressed (shoulders showing) they were provided a paper overcoat so they could show the proper respect for the institution while touring it. If you look closely at the first picture of the series you can see the statues of three naked women displayed in the library. I wanted to get some paper overcoats and place them over the statues. Additionally; there was a periodic announcement on the loudspeaker to please be quiet and respect the reverence of the worshippers in the church. Hmmm.
Later we drove through a small town called Monnteriggioni — did some Chianti Tasting and purchased a few bottles (very interesting wines) and had a very nice dinner. I had the opportunity to try Steak Fiorentina.
It was a really beautiful day all in all