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Siena, Italy

Siena, Italy
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During our road trip through Tuscany we spent one day and two nights in the beautiful Medieval city of Siena, famous for the Palio Horse Races. I was absolutely blown away by the architecture, the golden light, the views, the churches, and the art. We first visited the 900 year old Duomo. The striped columns, stained glass windows, golden murals, marble floors, and the ornate facade made for one of the most stunning cathedrals I have ever seen.

We ate pizza in the square with a view of the Baptistery accompanied by a violinist playing classical Italian music. We climbed to the top of the Duomo Panorama for a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding countryside. Our afternoon was spent wandering the winding Sienese streets and relaxing in the Piazza del Campo. I loved laying {yes, laying on the ground} in the middle of the Campo with a scoop of gelato taking in the sights and the warm Tuscan sun. After our siesta we enjoyed happy hour outside a bustling cafe overlooking the Campo drinking Spritzes and watching the sun go down over the Torre del Mangia.

Dinner the second night was only average, but our first night in the city was quite unforgettable. We checked into our B&B, located about 5KM outside of the city, and after freshening up in our room headed into town for dinner. I had made reservations about four weeks prior at La Taverna di San Giuseppe, a restaurant that had been highly recommended to us by a few friends and the top rated restaurant in the city. Thanks to my GPS we arrived to the parking lot 15 minutes before dinner and were told it would be about a 5 minute walk to the restaurant. Something felt a bit odd, as the street was oddly quiet for what we thought was a very popular Tuscan town, however we figured we must have just been a block or two from the city center.

Ten minutes into our walk and not another living soul in sight, we started to wonder if my GPS perhaps had led us astray. I quickly turned on my phone to look at the map and was shocked to see we were still 3KM from the restaurant. At this point we had five minutes until our reservations and realized that we weren't going to make it to one of the restaurants that we had most been looking forward to on the trip. Right as we were about to turn back and walk back to the parking lot a car drove by and we figured why not flag them down and see if we were in fact as far as my phone said from the City Center. To my surprise the car actually pulled over. We told the couple in the car where we wanted to go they simply started laughing, telling us in the little English that they knew that we were very, very far away. Then again to my surprise they told us to get into the car. I looked in the back and saw three little children playing and figured why not. We laughed the whole car ride, crammed in the back seat of their tiny car with three Italian children who were laughing right back at us for being such silly tourists. The kind Italians drove us right to the door of our restaurant, arriving right in time for our reservation. We thanked them profusely for their kindness, and not until we got into the restaurant did we realize that we had hitchhiked for the first time! I know it wasn't the safest thing we have ever done, but it was definitely one of those crazy travel memories you will look back on and smile about for the rest of your life. And I am glad to say the dinner was absolutely worth the hassle - the truffle pasta sampler was one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tasted, and it was that much better knowing how hard we worked to get there!
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