Unlike my eldest daughter – who lived in Siena for a couple of weeks on a language-immersion program and even witnessed a Palio with her own eyes – I have never spent a night in town. I’ve been to Siena on half a dozen occasions but always for an intraday visit. Each such trip left me with good memories, from an evening on Piazza del Campo after an all-too-enthusiastic half-day of wine-tasting in Chianti country on our very first visit to discovering hidden gems that only a person who had resided in the city in the past could have known about on our most recent one.
Siena, in other words, occupies quite a swath of my memory.
Here is one of my favorite perspectives of the city.
It is a view towards the city core, with the graceful Torre del Mangia piercing the skies, from the steps of Basilica San Domenico. It sort of hints from the outside at how the buildings in the historic center are piled together in seemingly haphazard fashion. Once you have this perspective in mind, as you walk up and down those narrow streets and passages your sense of the city acquires a different dimension. I got around to this view only on my third or fourth time in Siena and it certainly changed how I perceived the city afterwards.
Of course, once you reach Piazza del Campo, the awesomeness of Siena transcends all boundaries. But that is a subject for another photograph.