Imagine my relief when I discovered a movie theater in Siena, right next to the supermarket and around the corner from my school! And in fact, the first week that I was here, they were playing Toy Story 4, something that I had been excited to see.
I’ve officially started my Italian language school, and I thought it time to check in with my readers… I passed the entrance exam, skipping over the first week of class, and have now completed two days of the second week.
One of the highlights of my brief visit to Siena last year was a wine tasting that we stumbled upon, when a restaurant was empty around lunchtime and the host agreed to take us on a journey with him, pouring us many different wines and regaling us with stories about each one. It was so incredibly memorable that I knew I needed to go back on this trip.
I went, and was not disappointed. What an evening!
Even before coming here, I had a scheme: I wanted to find some cafe on the walking path to my morning classes, and stop in every day for an espresso and some chit-chat. I wanted to become a regular, my very own Norm to their Cheers. (Kids, ask your parents.)
Imagine my pleasant surprise upon arrival, to find that there’s literally a cafe outside the door to my apartment building.
Today marks day 7 here, and what a week it’s been… The first few days were all-Palio-all-the-time, and the next couple of days seemed like weaning off of the big race (although there was a freaking parade last night at midnight, two days after?!) as things start slowly approaching normal here in Siena.
It occurs to me that I’ve mentioned Siena and its Palio horse race in previous blog posts, but I haven’t described it or the contrada neighborhoods (and my connection with them) in detail yet. The next several days won’t make much sense to readers without some context, so here goes.
After a series of misadventures by train — broken air conditioning, delayed arrivals, sprinting through the Florence train station with luggage that breaks in the process, and nearly missing my connection — I finally arrived in Siena.
I’ve been here twice before: once for just an hour or so on a tour, and once for a few days that I almost entirely spent working in my hotel room, but as soon as I saw the familiar streets I felt a sense of relief… and then I saw my Drago flags, and was literally hopping up and down in the taxi.