Right when I arrived, I walked to the center of the city where the Palazzo Pubblico is located – probably one of the most amazing views I have seen in
Later, I wandered through the winding streets and found my way to the Duomo, which was absolutely breathtaking – it was monumental, and I later learned that it was never completed because the plague hit
I was woken up on Saturday morning completely terrified to a very loud noise out my window – apparently, the people of Siena were celebrating a major festival, which started at 9am with trumpets and drummers following a parade of flag-tossers dressed up in medieval attire. I walked around the city for the rest of the day, and I visited the church where Saint Catherine of
The hotel manager advised me to go to Piazza del Campo around 7pm to watch the announcing of the Palio runners racers. I had no idea what this was, but I gave it a shot. Later I did some research about the Palio, which is a horse race held twice a year since the medieval times. In
Before I even got to Piazza del Campo, I could here thousands of people in the main circle – I feel like everyone who lived in
After the flag-throwing, it was time to announce the runners. Suddenly, the windows of the palace opened and the trumpets sounded, and after a long wait of anticipation, the first flag was hung outside the window. Behind me to the left, the crowd let out an uproar of cheers and victory chants. The same process was repeated nine more times. At the end, groups from the winning Contrades were throwing their fists in the air and proudly singing victory songs. The process took all of fifteen minutes, but it was pretty exciting to be in the center of it. I love the fact that the city is so involved with its past and continues to celebrate its traditions.
Another reason why I liked
So this concludes the final entry of my Italian adventures, and I will be SO sad to leave when I do. But I am so fortunate for this opportunity, which really opened my eyes to the beauty of European culture and identity. At first, I thought that traveling by myself would be difficult and scary, and there were definitely some challenges along the way, but it taught me a lot and I loved every minute of it. I have traveled with family and friends before, so this adventure helped me learn and appreciate things that I could only get from independent travel. I hope that someday I will be able to return to these cities and explore all the places that I didn’t get to visit!