Well people, it has taken me so long to write up our trip to Italy that some of you think that either we’ve gone back or we never left. We are, in fact, home. At least for now. As far as these seemingly endless blogs are concerned, we are at about the halfway point of our Italian adventures. If you find the pace tedious, (as does the author) my advice would be to wait a year and read the whole thing at once. Good luck!–MS
On our first full day in Siena we headed for the Siena Cathedral. By the time we got there, a line had already formed and ticket sales were brisk. These were not tour tickets, they were just to get into the place. Groups of, say, 50 were let in at fifteen minute intervals.
Of course, as we waited at the entrance, it’s not like there was nothing to see:
At last it was our turn. And, just like so many cathedral visits before, from the first step inside, our minds were immediately blown:
The entire cathedral inside and out is made up of alternating layers of white and black (or dark green) marble, symbolizing Siena’s color scheme.
Construction of the cathedral began in the 1100’s with much of the artwork being added in the following two centuries. What incredible engineering!
There’s no point in me yammering on. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
This is the view looking back toward the entrance:
As if the place needed more art, in the 1200’s they started to lay mosaics into the floor:
Then, of course, there is the regular artwork. This is Michelangelo’s Saint Paul:
And, just as you being to recover your senses, you join a line to get into what looks like a side room. Turns out it leads to the Piccolomini Library:
The principle purpose of this room is to house rare medieval choir books. Feel free to sing along:
At last it was time to head out the door:
We spent one last evening in the piazza, then it was time to head to wine country!
What an incredibly beautiful city!