The tour group were given a guided tour of the streets of Siena, finishing at the Piazza del Campo. I really wanted to climb the tower, even though the guide said it could be a bit claustrophobic. I decided I would be OK as long as the headroom was not too bad, as that’s what made me feel really claustrophobic in a tower in China. So I paid my money and got up to the area before the tower proper begins, but found that the headroom within the tower was indeed a bit tight, as well as the stairs being extremely narrow, and I only managed a few flights before coming back with my knees shaking! I did manage to get some good photos from the level I got to before the tower, though.
I’d heard that Siena had a famous horse race, the Palio, but it wasn’t until I saw a video about it on the bus on the way there that I realised this isn’t just a regular horse race, but something at the heart of the community, with each area of the city having a particular horse and rider, and the race itself taking place in a crowded central piazza. There’s a documentary available on DVD about the race, so I’m probably going to buy that.
I was really struck by the lovely red brick of the buildings, and the narrow streets. Siena is a beautiful place!