A few weeks back, Kyle and I embarked on what will henceforth be known as The Great Italian Road Trip! For ten days, we explored as much of Italy as humanly possible. After arriving in Rome bright and early, we picked up our Roman chariot, otherwise known as a rental car, and set out for the town of Montalcino.
Operating on a combined four hours of sleep, we wandered through the town, took in the stunning views and then quickly sought an energy boost in the form of the nearest pizza.
A small, medieval hill town in the heart of Tuscany, Montalcino is most famous for the many surrounding vineyards and their Brunello wines. After lunch, we headed to Mate Winery for a tour and tasting before continuing on to Siena.
When I studied abroad in Italy in college, I was able to visit Siena on a day trip and I absolutely loved it! I remember having the most amazing lunch of wine and pizza on the Piazza del Campo, followed, for some unknown reason, by a lively serenade from a two-man Italian band. All in all, I found this small city so entertaining that when planning this trip, I knew I wanted to spend more time there.
We stayed at Siena's Grand Hotel Continental, a boutique five star hotel originally built as an aristocratic palace in the 17th century. The hotel was perfect in every single way: unbeatable, location, friendly staff, good room size, clean, free (and delicious) breakfast and incredible views!
That night, we enjoyed a light dinner at a cafe situated right on the aforementioned Piazza del Campo, which is Siena's medieval town square. The "square" itself is actually a shell-shaped public space made of red brick and travertine - it is one of my favorite spots in Italy.
On day two of our trip, we woke up ready to explore Siena a bit more before heading to our next locale. After breakfast at the hotel, we visited Siena's Duomo, Santa Maria Assunta. To me, with its black and white interior stripes, this is one of the most unique churches and a must see!
*Tip: All churches in Italy are referred to as duomo's. The word is derived from the Latin word "domus," which means "house," i.e. House of God.
After, Kyle did a bit of shopping, we made one last pass through the Piazza and then we were off to our next stop...Florence! I lived in Florence during my study abroad and fell in love. I was so excited to share one of my favorite places in the world with Kyle and I can't wait to share it here soon!