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Monday, June 4, 2012

Italy, Day 4

I wrote this journal entry on Tuesday, May 15, but it was for Sunday, May 13. My journal time was cut short when Theresa and I started watching the entire First Season of Downton Abbey on her Ipad. She downloaded it for something to do on the plane. But we never got to it on the plane. So we started watching it in the evenings at our Hotel, when we got tired of trying to watch TV in Italian. It was something I never even thought about. The TV was all in Italian! You can tell I've never been out of the country.

Journal Entry
It was my least favorite day. It just started off wrong. We were going to go to the Vatican.........when we got there, 7:50, Mass didn't start until 9:00. It went downhill from there.

We went back to our Hotel and ate breakfast.

We checked out of our room, put our luggage in storage, then went back to the Vatican to wait. For 2 hours. We were waiting in the hot sun for the Pope to pop his head out of his bedroom window and wave. Yup. That's what we were waiting on. We just knew he would show because his bedroom window was open.

At 12:15 - they. closed. his. window.


Not a good morning.

And how arrogant.

We then went and got our luggage and our driver picked us up and took us to Siena.

Three hours to Siena.

260 Euro.

When we arrived in Siena, there was a parade going on. There were drummers and people carrying flags. We found out later it's to honor St. Catherine. The driver had a hard time getting us to our motel, but I loved the parade.

Hotel Duomo is quaint. There are nooks and crannies everywhere. And real shutters. And our window in our room looks out over a tile rooftop and people hang their laundry out their window to dry. We freshened up and went exploring. We ate dinner at a pizzeria and celebrated Mother's Day. We think Mom completely forgot about M Day. Outside it started storming. One heck of a storm. When it quit we walked around a bit and went back to our room.

You can see the Vatican courtyard is just starting to fill up around 10:30. I think people are trying to stay in the shade as it was very hot and sunny.

Even some of his 'own kind' were waiting to get a peek.

By 11:30, the entire courtyard was packed FULL.

All of these people were waiting outside the Vatican for the Pope to show.

This middle window is his bedroom window. It's the one where he makes his appearance. IT WAS OPEN. The curtains would blow now and then, when we'd get a breeze. And at 12:15, they closed his window. That's it. Just closed it. No announcement or anything. I guess that's all we needed to know he was going to disappoint all of these people. Now, don't you think they knew all along he wouldn't be showing? Don't you think they could at least put up a sign, even the evening before, letting people know if he would or would not be popping his head out his window. I can tell you this. When I go back to Rome, I will not be waiting to see the Pope.

Anyway, Now we are in Siena and the Tuscan area and I loved it.

This is what we saw when we got there.

And every street our driver turned down trying to get us to our Hotel, there were flag guys and drummers! A parade! The day was looking up! I love parades. And this one seemed to be going on f o r e v e r.

When we realized there was no getting to our Hotel, we stopped the car and got out and watched the parade! Did I mention our driver did not speak English....Umm, he did not speak English. And we do not speak Italian. Well, we have learned a little bit, but, it was a long three hours from Roma to Siena. We communicated....a little.



and no, the parade was not over, but we could get to our Hotel. I LOVE THIS HOTEL!

Look at all of the views from our window.

The shutters really work! And look at the clothes above our window. We think people actually live in this Hotel too. Maybe the owners.

What is it about shutters that I love...Not the kind you slap on your house...but the kind that really have a purpose...and really open and close. I love them.

And on one of the hallway walls...a faucet. What's the deal? There was one of these in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. Nothing on the wall but this faucet and it does not work. Just like in the movie.

Siena is built on a big hill, or a small mountain, whichever you prefer to call it. So almost all of the streets are very steep. And narrow. And quaint. And the buildings are very old.

But we made it!

We went to one of the piazzas and found a pizzeria, and look here...out the window...the parade is still going on! These people have to be exhausted. We found out the next day from our driver that it all has to do with a horse race that takes place in the piazza, it lasts about three minutes. And these parades take place every weekend for 13 (I think) weekends before the horse race. And yes, the people in the parade practice for weeks on end, as they must have the endurance to march in this parade from morning until evening. It lasts all day long. No wonder it was going on f o r e v e r! This picture was actually taken through our restaurant window. The marchers had gone inside this building during the storm (lots of thunder and lightening) and came back out when it ended.

So the good news is, even though it stormed, and the day started off wrong, it was ending good. And what a better way to celebrate Mother's and wine (of course, wine)

I want to learn to make pizza like this. It was so good.

Happy Mother's Day Mom! We don't know if she forgot, or if she didn't mention it because she thought we forgot. But when we were at the Vatican I asked Dad if she forgot and he said he thinks she did.

What a better way to end the day. Pizza, Wine, Tiramisu, and Gelato.

Happy Mother's Day!



  1. I know I haven't been commenting much on these posts but I've looked forward to, and enjoyed, each one!
    Thanks for letting your readers enjoy your Italian adventure vicariously. So glad you got so much out of it and that everyone enjoyed themselves. Loving all the pictures!

  2. Lovely photos, as ever! Siena looks fabulous.

    I live in Germany and have to put up with German TV!!!! But yesterday I started watching Downton Abbey (first series - someone lent it to me, so it's in English!) and now I'm completely hooked. About to watch another episode right now!!

  3. Cindy, I am sure your mother will remember that mother's day. Looks like such great fun. Smiles, Susie

  4. I am not Catholic so I do not know if I would have waited as long as you did "not to see the pope" but otherwise it looks like your day took a turn for the best. And it looks like a great place you ended up staying. And when I saw the facet on the wall that is exactly what I thought "Under the Tuscan Sun" Love it.

  5. Cindy,
    You can't diss the pope...that must be a sin LOL!

    Sienna looks so pretty exactly what I would hope Italy looks like. That pizza looks really good!



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