L’Amitié Tours

Small group tours for women who love to travel

Jun 16 2017

A Grand Finale - Tomato Anyone?

Today we travel west to Siena said to be Italy’s loveliest medieval city and a trip worth making even if you are only visiting Tuscany for a few days.  Siena is believed to have been founded by Senius, son of Remus, one of the two legendary founders of Rome thus Siena’s emblem is the she-wolf who suckled Remus and Romulus.

The city sits over three hills with the heart of the city being the large Piazza del Campo where the Roman forum used to be and known worldwide for the famous Palio run there, a horse race run around the piazza two times every summer.  Movie lovers will recognise the piazza from the recent James Bond thriller, ‘Quantum of Solace’ as well as many other movies including ‘Letters to Juliet’.

The Campo is dominated by the red Palazzo Pubblico and its tower, Torre del Mangia.  Along with the Duomo of Siena, the Palazzo Pubblico was also built during the same period of rule by the Council of Nine. The civic palace, built between 1297 and 1310, still houses the city’s municipal offices much like Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

Its internal courtyard has entrances to the Torre del Mangia and to the Civic Museum. If you feel energetic, a climb up of over 500 steps will reward you with a wonderful view of Siena and its surroundings.  The Museum, on the other hand offers some of the greatest of Sienese paintings.  The Sala del Concistoro houses one of Domenico Beccafumi’s best works, ceiling frescoes of allegories on the virtues of Siena’s medieval government.

Arriving in this bustling city we made our way to meet our local guide Lisa who regaled us with the history, artworks, anecdotes and knowledge of life in Siena over the next two hours whilst we walked throughout the city discovering the Gothic – Romanesque architecture of the 13th century Duomo, one of the greatest monuments built representing Christianity and home of the famous Piccolomini Library, the Piazza del Campo and many  other treasures of this fantastic city.  Finishing our walking tour we were grateful for the refuge from the heat in a beautiful restaurant just off Piazza del Campo, where we dined on Italian style caesar salad, rack of lamb and risotto with prawn and mint with of course the obligatory glass of wine… Pinot Gris this time for something different.
Boarding our chariot we headed home to relax and refresh before heading out once again for our final night of celebrations in among the locals of Cortona as we partook in the weekly wine tasting in Piazza Republica before sitting down to dinner at one of Cortona’s best restaurants… Osteria del Teatro which had just a few surprises in store for us… but what goes on tour stays on tour isn’t that right Dianne?
Leaving the restaurant to head home we were amazed once again to find another spectacle in the Piazza Signorelli taking place… this time a full orchestra so of course we sat down, ordered coffee and listened to beautiful music in the most divine setting before heading off to bed knowing we all had a long journey ahead of us tomorrow albeit none of us really wanted the night to end we have had such fun together.
What an absolutely fantastic inaugural tour we have had this time in Cortona and so very pleased to hear how much the guests have loved their time here with some of them planning on returning on a yearly basis it has made such an impact on them.
Buono Notte
Lynette x