Actually, make that freezing. Tuscany is going through the coldest winter in 27 years and--trust me--American students are feeling it too. Our school arranged a Siena day trip this past weekend, with a tour and everything. I was really grateful to have such an opportunity to hear about Siena's rich history, but a lot of the information was overshadowed by the cold. I'm sad to admit I was one of those bratty kids muttering, "My fingers are about to fall off" every few minutes. Nevertheless, I did get to marvel at the beautiful scenery: Tuscan architecture under a blanket of snow.
Sometimes I have "herpy" moments, and only recently found out that there is an "Il Duomo" in other cities, not just in Florence. So here's Siena's beautiful Duomo from the back. And a photo of the intricate ceiling detail inside the cathedral. (It's kind of funny I've been inside Siena's Duomo, but still haven't been inside Florence's.)
After our tour, we had three hours of free time. Unfortunately, the free time was from 1pm-4pm, and Italian stores are generally closed for lunch until 3pm, so we only had an hour to shop. We spent some time at leather stores, where you could most definitely tell was genuine leather from the strong smell. There were several cute figurine shops where locals sell their own work (like painted corkscrews). In the last hour, I found a ring that I gladly purchased for 20 Euros. Unfortunately, it isn't pictured below because we ran out in a hurry to catch the bus back to Florence.
This upcoming weekend--Venice for Carnivale!