Archive for the ‘ itinerario3 – roma/siena ’ Category

Last Day in Roma/First Day in Siena

San Biagio:

First stop on our travels to Siena was a stop at San Biagio and a town located on a almost never-ending hill climb.  At the top of the climb spectacular views outward show that the landscape of Italy was nothing close to a flat plain.  After a nice lunch and trip back down the long, long, long… hill we all made our way back to the ideal church called San Biagio.

The church was one of the firsts that followed the concept of an Ideal completely symmetrical centralized church.  One crucial challenge that architects faced with this new typology are the corner conditions that are now not as simple to achieve, yet this exploration continued all the way through to the middle and late Reniassance with Brunelleschi and Michelangelo.


Wow, all I can say is wow.  This city is amazing.  The Piazza del Campo and the structure of the city along with the energy of the battle between the different cantradas is intense.  The pride is everywhere from the hanging flags to people wearing scarf’s to show off their respective cantradas, everyone plays a role in Siena.  The Campo tonight along with seeing the Duomo and other smaller churches and basilicas, I was able to experience only a piece of Siena but it was down right jaw dropping.  The dense areas and narrow streets really give a medieval setting throughout the city, but what is the most interesting is the breaking up of space along paths and moments throughout the city.  More importantly, no matter how hard we tried to get lost, all roads lead to the Campo.  Its like the Siena is engulfing people back into the Campo.

Palazzo Publicco                                                      The Duomo

Rj, Flores, and myself set out tonight on a quick walk around Siena and it was worth it.  Even after only a quick meal and having been bussed around for hours from Santa Maria della Pieta, We were eager to just jump right into looking around and exploring.  In a sense we were truly having a derive and just picking and choosing paths that we did not know and only having experiences lead us down paths.  Although we did not encounter many people along the way, most of the people are quiet and calm.  The sense that this town is very safe is clearly apparent even down the what seems like very sketchy and closed off side streets and alleys.  It was downright lovely.

Street filled with Contrada Flags

Eventually we headed back to the Campo to meet up with some other friends and of course we picked up a beer each along the way.  Next step, sit down and/or lay down in the middle of the Campo.  Everyone, especially young groups and couples, were sitting down around the sloping brick paver parts of the Campo.  On top of everything, there were a lot of people out and about which made for something very spectacular in addition to a shock because of it being a Sunday night.

First impressions are always the most important and the same applies with “meeting a new city.”  With Roma, the first impression was that many portions were riddled with graffiti and the entire center of Roma has become a giant walking tourist attraction.  In a sense, the center of Roma was becoming a gigantic tourist exhibit with gypsy shops covering every corner with little overpriced nick-naks.  Although the architecture was very beautiful and recalling both ancient and Renaissance architecture was very influential and experiential, the city fabric is loosing validity due to over-touristation.  Siena on the other hand has a feeling all its own.  This quality, although I cannot pin point it now what IT exactly is, is something that just captures a person into spaces and creates a pleasant experience for every viewer.  Beautiful.

View in the Morning Outside my Dorm Window