A Perfect Day in Siena with Tuscan Women Cook

A perfect day in Siena
Piazza del Campo is the principal public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares.

Every day is a perfect day in Siena ~

A perfect day in Siena
The spectacular clock tower or Torre del Mangia of Siena was built 1338-1348 and is located in the Piazza del Campo.

The title of this post is a bit misleading. It should read “every day is a perfect day in Siena and Tuscan Women Cook”! Ask any traveler fortunate enough to have visited this remarkable city and they will tell you it is their favorite.

The Wednesday Market ~

A perfect day in Siena
Q: Which purse(s) should we buy? A: Nearly all of them!

 

During my trip to the hills of Tuscany to visit and participate in the week only dreams are made of, we spent the day in Siena as well. We visited on Wednesday which is market day. The market displays run all the way around the walls of the city and are filled with leather goods, clothing, household items and…purses!

A perfect day in Siena
You can see our shopping bags of treasure on the ground behind us.

The best smelling area of the market is where they sell the locally sourced meat and produce. Aromatic roast porchetta (porchetta is a savory and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition)filled the air and led you right to it. Huge colorful vegetables and fruits were organized into plentiful rows. We had an absolute blast visiting Coleen and Rhonda’s favorite leather goods table. We lined up twelve across to purchase these beautiful bags for ourselves and for gifts. If my suitcase was bigger I would have bought more!

a perfect day in Siena
Can you smell the roast pork?

A perfect day in Siena

Confession: I actually did borrow another suitcase from Coleen as all of my Italian goodies made my single bag far too heavy! Craig smiled and laughed when I returned with borsa numero due “bag number two”.

More of our tour ~

We were led by an extraordinary local Sienese tour guide, Dr Cristina Amberti, who explained the long and vibrant history of Siena. We walked through the cobblestone streets, through the Basilica de San Dominico and finished at the most beautiful cathedral in Italy.

Siena Duomo, Cathedral of Siena ~

The Duomo in Siena is a breathtaking Gothic building filled with treasures by Pisano, Donatello and Michelangelo as well as frescoes by Pinturicchio.

It was built between 1215 and 1263 on the site of an earlier structure and the cathedral is built in the form of a Latin cross with a projecting dome and bell tower. From the floors to the ceilings, everywhere you look is colorful and truly a masterpiece. Take your time and visit every area of the cathedral, it is worth every moment you spend.

A perfect day in Siena

A perfect day in Siena

the perfect day in Siena
Looking up at the inside of the Duomo
A perfect day in Siena
The frescoes were so well-preserved. We were not even allowed to talk in this room, in order to help preserve the art.

Lunch in Siena ~

A perfect day in Siena
Roast guinea fowl and veggies. It tasted like a combo of roast pork and roast turkey. Delicious!

Our mid-day stop for lunch was at the incomparable Osteria Le Logge. We talked about our market finds and listened to Cristina give us more history of Siena and of the famous Palio!

A perfect day in Siena
Best dessert of my life. I would have licked the bowl if no one was looking. It is a variation of the cannoli with hazelnut, vanilla, pine nut and salt. There was a sweet and salty goodness to the dish.

 

Palio ~

The Palio is the most important event in Siena and takes place on July 2 and August 16 every year. In the Palio the various Sienese “contrade”, or areas in which the city is divided, challenge each other in a passionate horse race in the heart of the city in the Piazza del Campo. It is a “win at all cost” situation.

The members of each contrade are enthusiastic supporters of their horse and jockey. Each of the contrade are represented by a symbol or animal. They proudly fly their flags and wear scarves with the symbol.

I am especially fond of owls, so I took a photo of this flag of the Owl Contrade which was on display.

the perfect day in Siena

a perfect day in Siena
An aerial view of the Palio  Photo: New Tuscan Experience

 

a perfect day in Siena
Photo: New Tuscan Experience.

 

Attending the Palio has a been a dream of ours since friends described their experience to us over ten years ago. After meeting Dr. Cristina and hearing all of the glorious details, we are taking our family next year. It is a must do!

Our perfect day in Siena was one I will never forget.

Stay tuned more to come from my week with Tuscan Women Cook!


To learn more about Tuscan Women Cook, you can click here for the website and here for the Facebook Page.

Classes are offered May, June, September and October – There are still spaces available for the Fall 2017 and they are already booking for 2018. Do it, you will adore the experience. Who will you take with you?

 

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