We left Florence for a day trip to Siena, 90 minutes southwest by train.
Florence, Siena and Pisa have been rivals for centuries. When Florence built its Duomo, Siena decided it needed to go one better. I am not judging, but the competition is a fair one.
Time was tight, so we decided not to go inside the cathedral. I saw photos of the interior afterward.
We made a mistake.
Central Siena has long had seventeen contratas (something like neighborhoods or districts). Each is represented by a colorful banner. Twice a year, in July and August, the outside ring of the Campo (central field) is covered with sand and horses representing ten contratas race in the Palio.
The winners' banners are flown everywhere, even in the losing contratas. This one won in July.
Looking down and across the Campo to the municipal building.
Coffee break at an amazing pastry shop.
Pigeons everywhere love sitting on the heads of statues.