Well, not my best outing ever. I got a nice early (for me) start, catching a 10:30 bus which put me in Siena around noon as I recall. My first stop was going to be Tourist Information office which has been in every town I've ever visited - always with a nice visible blue sign with a big white "I" in the center. And they are usually located near train or bus stations so I got off the bus and nowhere was there one. I asked somewhere and they waved their arm here and there like people seem to do so as I walked I kept asking people and found that the place the first person told me about had closed and now you had to go in some other direction to find one. Siena was designed, I think, by a diabolical demon - you go up to this and down to that. Down to that and up to this - stairs, very steep roads, it is really strange. It's on top of a hill, of course, but I don't exactly know why some things are so much higher than other things. Anyway, I finally, with more help, found the place and it wasn't the standard TIO. But they had a map which you paid 1E for (no problem but they don't do that at TIO's) and got me started. Long story short, with still much confusion as to where things were and how to get to them and different advice from different people, I finally managed to get to Siena's Duomo. When I found it I was at the Baptistery entrance where I could buy a ticket for 8E and see everything which was very reasonable. But they didn't take credit cards and my bus tickets had cost a fair amount more than I thought and I'd paid euros for them so I asked where an ATM was and, of course it was up the long flight of stairs to the piazza on which the front entrance of the cathedral is located. Huffed my way up there and looked all around - no ATM. Went into the cathedral book store and turns out you're not supposed to use it but there's one in there and they let me use it. So I then said "now can I go in the cathedral instead of back down to the Baptistery?" And no, I couldn't - I had to buy my ticket at the Baptistery. So back down I went. Then, of course, when I was ready to visit the cathedral, back up I went. Arrrrgh!!! But it was beautiful inside - both the baptistery, the cathedral, the Picollini Library (I think they call it that) and the crypt was quite interesting.
You won't get a very good idea of all that from my pictures because I discovered my camera was set for wide pictures on the function setting for size of picture and I could NOT get it unset so all the pictures came out either tall and skinny, or short and wide. At some point after I was all done, I suddenly remembered that I had set the camera to "automatic" rather than "program" where it usually is and that is why it was stuck on W - I couldn't do any programming. Arrrrrgh again.
So here are my strange but at least somewhat indicative photos and I'm embarrassed to admit that with all the misdirection, physical exertion, back and forth and up and down, that's all I accomplished on my visit to Siena. By the time we got back to Florence, it was going on 7:00 p.m.! And my own stupidity certainly played a part. I had torn out the Siena pages from my Rick Steves guidebook and brought them with me and as I was getting more and more lost and turned around I remembered "oh yeah, I should have brought those along".
This is Siena's one remaining tower and it's a tall one. And if they hadn't built it in a deep declivity but instead up on a level with a lot of the rest of the town, it would be even taller!
And so, that's it - made my way back to the bus stop with not too many stops to ask for help and then had to figure out where to stand to catch the bus I needed, once again getting different answers to the question. I finally saw a bus come in that said Siena Rapida and I wanted the Florence Rapida so thought that might be going back and asked the driver as he got off. He said "no" obviously unhappy to be asked a question and I thought mean things about him. And, of course, when I saw a bunch of people starting to board that bus I asked one of them was it the Florence bus and she said "yes, but it's the ordinara not the rapida. Maybe the bus driver could have told me that? Apparently not.
Came home and rested a bit and a little after seven went back to Enzo e Piero for my dinner. This time I ordered a delicious ravioli (I've only ever ordered appetizers and sometimes a soup there) and some grilled vegetables and was not disappointed.
Now I'm going to sleep so buena notte.