"Dolce Far Neinte" - A Weekend in Sienna, Italy

Wow, life really is a dream these days. Nathan and I were able to spend two days in Italy with two of our very best friends in the world. Another weekend off, another quick trip. This time to Sienna. A small town in Italy, just south of Florence. Two of Nathan's former teammates from A&M, who are both currently playing in Italy, just happened to be playing each other the same weekend we were there. So in addition to spending time with great friends, we were able to see two former Aggies, Josh Carter and Elston Turner, play each other in the Italian league. (In case you're counting; the two of them, the 2 of us, and the one and only Kelsi Perry make 5 former Aggies reuniting across the globe, Gig em!)

Normally the amount of time you get to spend in a place is directly correlated with how much you enjoy said place. A quicker trip usually means less time to emerge yourself in the local culture, less time to explore, and less time to really soak it all in. Therefore, the places I visit longer are usually the places I claim as my favorites. Siena, Italy totally broke that logic. After spending less the 48 hours in the city, I can easily place it near the top of my list of favorite places I have visited.

In my previous post I dubbed Paris the "city of stairs." Completely opposite of that, I dub Sienna the "city of chill." Most of our time in Sienna was spent in the area known as Piazza del Campo. On every visit the square was filled with people doing just that, chillen. In a large open area facing the famous Torre del Mangia, people were scattered all over the cobblestone plaza just sitting, relaxing, and enjoying the view. For the most part, I noticed no books, no radios, no picnics, just sitting. Solos, families, and couples were there no matter what time of day or night we passed through. Then I remembered a phrase I once heard in a movie (Eat, Pray, Love to be exact) "Dolce far niente." It is an Italian phrase that translates to "the sweetness of doing nothing." The spirit of dolce far niente was very evident in Sienna, which was a very nice change of pace from the busier cities we visited.

One more thing I have to mention about our trip to Italy was the food. O.M.G. the food. Every book, movie, TV show, or rumor you have heard about Italian food being the best is absolutely true. The two dinners we had in Sienna were without a doubt two of the best meals of my life. I cant remember what the names of the dishes were, (I couldn't even pronounce them at the time) but one was a noodle dish, similar to spaghetti but with a thicker more fluffy noodle, topped with sausage and mushrooms. And just when I thought I couldn't top that, the next night I ordered truffle pasta and almost went into a food coma. Plus the Italians really know how eating should be done. Multiple courses, even at lunch, large portions, and wine with every meal. I could definitely get used to that!

Without further ado, here are a few pictures from our weekend jaunt to Italy!

Piazza del Campo aka the chill zone 
I cannot stress how hard it was for us to order these ridiculously small 3 dollar coffees 
Torre del Mangia, preparing to climb to the top! 

Starting our climb
The stairs not designed for tall people
The first landing of the Torre
The stair way, looking down! 

Incredible view from the top

Italian breakfast
The "antipasta" aka the appetizer
Nathan's amazing authentic ravioli
Gelato! We were not about to leave Italy without some! 

Ready to cheer on Montepaschi

Aggie vs. Aggie!