Since we had been studying St. Catherine of Siena in my Saints and Sinners class, it was only right that we had a day trip to Siena. I didn’t mind having to go for school; Siena was on my list of places to go anyway.
As we do in every city, we saw the Sienese duomo (no change there), saw the house where Catherine grew up, and we ended what turned out to be a very rainy day in San Domenico, the church in which St. Catherine worshiped. From here, My friend, Katie, and I met up with one of my flatmates, Rebecca, and started on the rest of our weekend Tuscany, outside of class this time.
That night, we went to San Gimignano, and by the time we got there, most things were closed. We did manage to find a small tower to climb in a park with an awesome view of the town – so in a way, I we did get to see the whole city! We also found this little restaurant down the street from our hostel. Rebecca asked the waiter what wild boar (a popular food in Italy) tasted like, and everyone of the restaurant’s 6 tables started laughing. I don’t say this to sound mean – I say it because this cute little place was so small, so local, that everyone heard everything. The food was amazing, too; I split an antipasto of ox tongue with Rebecca (it was surprisingly good and totally normal looking) and got rabbit as my main dish. Winner, winner, rabbit dinner!
The next day was split in half: first by a trip to Pisa during which Rebecca and I climbed the leaning tower (which you can definitely feel lean as you climb) and saw the duomo (of course). The second part of the day was spent in Lucca, a little Tuscan town offers itself to a leisurely stroll around the park that sits atop the city walls. Like San Gimignano, Lucca has a lot of towers, and we ended up choosing to climb one that had a small bunch of trees planted on top. This certainly differentiated itself from the other towers I’ve ventured up; how many towers do YOU know of with a garden on it?
Our time in each city was short, but sweet. None of the cities required much time, but that was just fine for me because sometimes I forget I’m actually a student here, and not just a fortunately avid traveler. This was one of those times because then I remembered that in the next week, the first of my two final papers is due.