|Monday, October 18, 2010. Drove the short distance to the old hilltop town of Siena, the ride seemed longer because of the winding roads we travelled which sometimes seemed to double back on themselves. Traffic and parking bad as usual. But we parked next to Fort St. Barbara and walked to the church of San Domenico where we found the chapel dedicated to St. Catherine. St. Catherine was noted for experiencing the stigmata and convincing the Pope to move the Church from France to Rome in the mid 1300’s. She died at the early age of 33. From San Domenico we walked down the steepest street we’ve ever seen to the home of St. Catherine. We entered the courtyard of her family property and descended a flight of stairs at the rear to the bare cell she occupied. Pretty amazing to stand there in the peaceful solitude and think about events of so long ago.
And if you go down the steepest street guess what…..you must go up somewhere. Outside the courtyard we were standing at the bottom of a bowl; no matter what direction we faced, it was extremely UP. So, halfway up the next street, which we hoped would take us to the Duomo, we came across a small trattoria/restaurant where we stopped to rest with a glass of wine and a pizza. Now fortified we continued to the Duomo. The Duomo dates back to 1215 with the major decorative work done during 1250-1350. They sure didn’t mind spending a lot of time on their churches.
Now, it was getting chilly and breezy so, at 4:30pm we started the long, up and down walk through the narrow city streets back to the car. A brief stop at a market and “home” by 5:30.