When we first arrived, we went to have an espresso at Nannini (you simply have to do that…it’s practically the law in Siena…just kidding! ), then ambled down to Piazza del Campo, Siena’s most famous, shell-shaped square…certainly one of the most lovely squares in Italy.
We’ve been to Siena before, many times, and I’ve posted photos of these day trips, but yesterday we had a different perspective, which means that I have some new photos to show you.
We decided in fact to climb to the top of the famous Torre del Mangia, the tall bell tower in Piazza del Campo (see photo no. 1: it’s on the left). The Torre del Mangia was built in the 14th century.
I forgot to count the steps as we went up, up and up and up very narrow marble steps, steep ones at times…But I looked online and found that there are a total of 400 step. Compare that to the 414 steps of the bell tower in Florence, which you might be more familiar with. So, quite high.
Parts of the staircase were extremely narrow, making it difficult to let people by, either coming down or going up. Ah yes, it was quite a squeeze, here and there. But we all (tourists), er, squeezed away in good cheer.
Check out my second photo, which gives a view of the stairwell, looking down almost from the top of the tower. As you can imagine, this climb is not intended for vertigo sufferers. Or for anyone with heart problems.
The view from the top is amazing. 360 degree views of the city and, of course, the surrounding hills of Tuscany.
Incidentally, you can click on the photos to make them bigger. No. 3, e.g., gives you a view of the back of Siena’s Duomo, = Cathedral, and also a nice view of the city’s rooftops. The last photo on the left is a view of the square where you can sort of make out its shell shape.
In sum, we had a lovely lovely day. Bliss.
And hey, I can still climb up to the top of a medieval tower and live to tell the story, puff puff!