Once we had actually found the bus station in Florence (after walking right past the entrance at least three times), getting the bus to Siena was quite problem free. It seemed that almost everyone on the bus was a tourist rather than a local!

Siena itself was just beautiful. I loved the gold colour of the buildings. We spent the morning walking around, had lunch on Piazza del Campo (where the horse race is run) and then went into the Museo Civico in the Palazzo Communale. There was an amazing range of decoration within the rooms, and the view from the top floor (even though we didn’t actually go up the bell tower) was wonderful.

In the afternoon we did a walking tour, with a really good tour guide who not only told us about historic Siena, but also about the more modern aspects – especially the full details of how the horse race is organised: it is entirely a competition between the districts of the city, once the horses for the race have been selected they are actually assigned to the districts by lot, but each district organises its own jockey. I said I didn’t see how people standing in the middle of the piazza would be able to see the race at all, and she made us all laugh when she replied “If you are Sienese, you feel it.”

When the tour was finished, we went into the Duomo – which has the most amazing floors – and then up into the Museo Dell’Opera museum, which is in what would have been the nave of the never-finished extension to the Duomo. From the top, we got another magnificent view of Siena.

Getting a bus back to Florence was slightly less straightforward than the morning, but only because the bus was delayed, and there were no indicator boards or anything to tell us.

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