Rainy. Overcast. Dreary could be used. Words normally associated with the beginning of a mystery novel, are the start of my day in Siena. I had taken the bus from Grosseto to Siena which was dreamy. The rolling hills speckled with terracotta homes. The olive trees perfectly aligned. I highly recommend to use something other than just trains through Tuscany as you will miss part of the landscape that makes this part of the world so famous.
When I finally arrived in Sienna, I had no plans and no idea what to do in the city. Just the way I like it. I wandered around for a while. I used my favorite review site (Trip Advisor) to find a place to eat. Now being on my own, I still tend to get a bit shy about going into a place without speaking the language. I usually pass the place and try to scope out if it is good for an individual or not. I also see what else is in the area. I have walked into a place only to walk out shortly after looking at the menu plenty of times.
I found La Procuitteria and decided to follow the advice of other travelers and go in. I got a Panini and a glass of wine. Usually, I am reluctant of panini’s in Italy as the bread tends to be a bit harder than I am used to. I am so glad I gave up that reluctancy. This was probably one of the best sandwiches I’ve had. Bread aside, the procuitto I had was delicious, it had a garlic herb cheese, and a spicy tomato paste. In Italy, you usually pay at the end of the meal, I, being paranoid, always want to pay at the beginning so I don’t forget and they don’t think I’m trying to steal (ridiculous, I know.) I then made my way downstairs to the tables which was completely empty. It was perfect for me. I grabbed a table that looked at the stairs and set up my computer for a bit of writing and research.
A few other patrons strolled in later on, but this was exactly the type of place I had hoped for.(I.e. perfect for solo travelers!) After I wrapped up lunch I got lost in a few of the streets. I saw the Cathedral and the main piazza. Siena has a mystical feel to it. I couldn’t imagine living in a city which seemed to be straight out of a book. It did seem a bit frozen in time. A beautiful city. If Pisa didn’t have the tower, I would definitely recommend Siena over Pisa.
After some gelato, I made the bus to head back to Grosseto. The next day was very relaxed as it was my last day with the family. I was also a little sad. It is hard to become familiar and close with someone and then leave. I had become quite comfortable in Grosseto. What laid ahead was a bigger adventure though and one that was necessary for me (as you will soon see, this seems to be a reoccurring theme). I said my goodbyes the following morning (after one more perfect espresso) to make my bus. Next Stop, Florence!