These rest days are strange. The usual rythm is to arrive at a location in a tired state, unpack the back pack, have  a shower, wash and wring out shirt, socks etc, and find somewhere to hang them hoping they’ll dry. Then it’s time to eat , unpack the sleeping bag, write my blog then sleep.

In the morning it’s pack up the backpack – I have a plastic bag for everything and everything goes in its plastic bag. Then it’s find somewhere for breakfast and we’re off again.

This lounging around and being a tourist is OK but after a day I’m ready to hit the road again. And it’s taken me a day to work out how to get to my hotel easily.

this little passageway was the key to getting to my hotel

 

My hotel with the duomo in the background

 

My hotel turned out to be part of a 14th century convent converted to a hotel but still owned by the nuns who live next door .

My hotel is the building in front of the church, just to the right if the green patch

So here’s the tourist bit. Of course I went to pay my respects to St Catherine’s head at the Basilica of San Domenico. I also visited Santa Maria Della Scala this morning. This is the oldest surviving Ospedale in Italy. These places provided care for the sick, cared for abandoned children and the poor and of course looked after pilgrims. In fact they are currently building a new ostello for pilgrims inside the building somewhere.

This detal of the frescoes in the Pilgrim’s Hall or Pellegrinaio by Domenico di Bartolo show the foot washing cetemony that we also experienced a few days back

The famous Duomo features alternate layers of white and dark green marble I’m told although from a distance it looks black.

The tower of the municipal building is called the Torre Del Mangia and overlooks the very large Piazza del Campo where the Palio horse race is held.

Looking up

 

Looking down

 

Typical street in Siena

Well I’m off now to have some wild boar or Cinghiale for dinner.  It’s a bit of a specialty here . It’s available so widely you wonder just how wild some of this is. 

Boaring , I know