Rushed Relaxed Siena

Whenever  I’m in a hurry it feels like the rest of the world is stuck in mud. We had one day left and I needed to visit Siena and no one (as in Aaron) noticed my urgency.  We woke up to more dense fog and decided to wait for it to dissipate. And we waited….and waited… We practiced patience, no worries, no rushing. But this was our last day in Tuscany. And I (we) needed to get to Siena.

The fog refused to clear and after a few hours we gave up on the old patience thing. New battle plan was to stock up on food supplies  and continue straight to Siena, a two hours drive.

The store was full of nonchalant shoppers blocking the aisles with their shopping carts. Aaron and I bickered about everything, including if we should feed Ada a yogurt in the car before we drove to Siena. He won that argument and she flicked a gloppy, pink spoonful of it on his pants. Naturally, he needed to take a detour back to the house to change them. And while there, he needed to slowly eat a bowl of cereal.

An HOUR later, we FINALLY leave for Siena and arrived mid-afternoon.

We lacked the time to fully enjoy this splendid town. I was annoyed with Aaron and felt rushed — my mood was anything but relaxed. We toured the Duomo separately (the façade was completely covered in scaffolding). While I bought the ticket for just the Duomo, Aaron bought the more cost efficient ticket that paid for the Duomo, Museum and Baptistery.

Because Aaron bought the combination ticket, our next stop was the museum.

I complained that visiting a museum was impossible with Ada. Thankfully, Aaron ignored my pessimism, poked food in Ada’s mouth and we enjoyed our first museum of the trip. People looked annoyed to see a toddler surrounded by priceless sculptures but we ignored them and headed towards Panorama del Facciatore.

I stopped to admire a tapestry while Aaron and Ada made their way up the tiny spiral staircase. A few minutes later, I opened the door to the staircase and listened to the echoes of my daughter and husband carrying on an animated conversation. It was so sweet (and loud) I couldn’t help but laugh.

The panoramic view from the top of the museum encompassed the Duomo, the secular tower, Il Campo, all the red roofs of Siena, plus the distant Tuscan hills with a sky full of storm clouds and low sun. It was windy and freezing but we toughed it out, took in a few deep breaths of invigorating Italian air and I finally relaxed. We carefully descended, toured the Baptistry and headed off for Il Campo.

Il Campo felt like the ideal place to lounge in the afternoon sun. But by this late in the day the sun had set behind the buildings and the blustery wind froze us. Ada ran through the square until her nose turned red and runny while  I bought more trinkets and sampled authentic panforte. We warmed ourselves in a cozy café with a view of the Il Campo and ate ravioli followed with espresso. The streets were dark by the time we reached our car in the parking lot. I wished we had several days to enjoy Siena’s vibrant energy. Another regret, but also another reason to return.

We sang to Ada for the two hour drive home, made one last fire in our little home and packed up our bags for Rome.