Thursday, December 23, 2010

Italy Day 1: Arrival in Siena

Just to confuse you all, while Petra is currently in Haiti, I (Erika) am in Italy visiting my sister Lisa.

After a 2-day delay thanks to snow storms in Europe, and a rather yucky long flight on an old Delta plane with inedible food and unwatchable movie screens, my mother and I flew into Rome. We made a swift and heroic trip across Rome on public transit, successfully purchased tickets and found the right track twice, and proudly took a bus from the Rome station to Siena.

This of course meant we got to drive through the Tuscan countryside. Notable sites included hilltop and cliff-clinging towns, green green harvested fields, lots of rain, sheep, umbrella trees and tall pointy trees, crumbly stone and brick buildings, geometric vineyards, and very rolling hills.

By mid-afternoon we had arrived safely in the center of Siena, where my twin sister Lisa greeted us. We spent the rest of the afternoon dragging our bags up and down the very steep hills of the city, first to Lisa’s apartment, which was modern and moldy and cold, then to Lisa’s friend’s apartment. We are staying at her friend’s place since he’s away visiting relatives, and because his place is clean and warmer and more spacious, has a view from the back garden directly onto the old city walls, and is conveniently right by the Porto Camomille, one of the main gates of the old city.

Warmer is a relative term, though: I am so unimpressed by Italian building standards, tending as they do towards making houses as miserably cold and damp and unheatable as possible, with incredibly high ceilings and huge plate windows and damp plaster walls and solid marble floors. It is consistently colder inside than out. I suppose that’s nice in the summer, but not now. I am incurably cold.

As we were too wiped by travel to cook, we had dinner at a family-style restaurant Lisa frequents, named Fonte Giusta. We ate some truly amazing food. And then off to blissful, long-awaited sleep.

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