What's on the walls--600 lab / 10palazz2

6/29/2003

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 The center of Siena, Italy

10palazz2

I took this picture in January 1999.
I think Siena is the most beautiful city in the world, hands down; I've made three trips since then.
One of my Italian colleages says, simply, "Siena is an essay in red."
This picture looks down into the city's central square, Piazza del Campo, which was the Roman amphitheater;
nothing remains of it today except its shape.  The tower, Torre del Mangia, is the second tallest medieval tower in Italy,
and a pretty good climb at 515 steps, no elevator.  This picture was taken from the walls of an unfinished expansion of
Siena's cathedral., the Facciatone, or "Big Facade."  This expansion would have made the cathedral bigger
than St. Peter's in Rome.  However, the Black Death reached Siena in 1348 and devastated the city.
It never completely recovered, and the building stopped.  Today Siena is one of Europe's best
preserved medieval cities, but without the fleabitten rats.