Monday, November 16, 2015


Siena’s located in the Tuscany region of Italy, about 2 hours by car from Rome and not too far away from another great town, Florence.

Its origins go back to Roman times under Julius Caesar.  The population (as of 2001) is only some 50,000 people.  It has a variety of interesting museums,  a magnificent “Duomo” as well as a university that dates back to the 8th century. 

With naturally excellent food and wine, the town is also famous worldwide for its historic “Palio” horse race which takes place in the main square, the “Campo”, in July and August.  The city fills to the brim with tourists from all over the world.  

Restaurants? Plenty of them. A good one is the "Osteria Boccon del Prete" in Via S. Pietro 17, e-mail:  

Siena’s famous for Italy's oldest (and one of the world's oldest) banks, the "Monte dei Paschi di Siena", which dates back to 1472 (they say that the Italians invented the banking system).  The city's also famous for another thing: the opening scenes of Bond’s “Quantum of Solace” (the second movie with Daniel Craig in the role of 007) were shot in Siena and during a “Palio”!  

(To paraphrase another Bond movie, "A View To A Kill" from our hotel!)

 (The main "Campo" square of Siena)

 (Modern art in front of Siena's "Duomo")

 (Siena's magnificent "Duomo")

(A view from high above of Siena)

(Just some of Siena's wonderful art)

(Giovanni Pisano's Christ, 1270-1280)

(A piece by Donatello, 1386-1466)

(The magnificent Crypt under the Duomo)

(Siena's strongs ties to Imperial Rome and the famous She-Wolf)

(The magnificent Crypt under the Duomo)

(The facade of the baptistery in Siena)

(Inside Siena's rather amazing Duomo)

(Bond's new Omega watch in a Siena shop, only 6,400 euros!)


 (The wonderful Accademia Musicale Chigiana.  It's housed in the Palazzo Chigi Saracini.  The all-powerful Chigi family hailed from Siena and dated back to the 8th century. The Palazzo dates back to 8th century)  

 (Inside Siena's. Accademia Musicale Chigiana.  Here below an original Antonius Stradivarius which dates back to 1682)

(A piano that had been played by Franz Liszt)

(Siena by nite...)

(The garage and tunnel that 007 takes with his car in the opening scenes of "Quantum of Solace")

(The garage in the center of Siena that 007 takes with his car in the opening scenes of "Quantum of Solace")

(The beautiful Italian hqs of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy's oldest bank and one of the oldest in the world.  They say that the Italians after all invented the banking system)

(The evening view of Siena from our hotel)

(Indeed wise words!)

(Scenes of Siena and its wonderful churches and museums)

(Simone Martini's painting of a soldier from Siena, one of the oldest and realistic interpretations of landscape in the history of art)

(The very interesting archeological museum of  Siena )

(Scenes of Siena)