On Monday morning, we headed to Termini station without any plan of how we were going to get to Siena. The ticket office had a long line, so we bought our tickets from a vending machine that sold a train + bus combo ticket, with a “short transfer time”. By buying these, we realized that we’d need to figure out how to get from the train station to the bus stop in only 10 minutes, in the town of Chiusi, which neither of us had ever heard of before. No problem though — we’re experts, right? Before we knew it, our train was was 30 minutes delayed and it seemed certain we’d miss the connection. Would we be stranded in Chiusi? Not sure how it all worked out, but they actually held the bus, and we got to Siena by early afternoon without any trouble. Phew. As a bonus, the bus ride gave us our first views of the sweeping landscapes of Tuscany.
Siena is a beautiful small city. The old town consists of winding red brick streets (actually “burnt sienna“, for anyone who grew up with Crayola). In the center are two big attractions, one of the nicest town squares we’ve seen (perfect for hanging out and relaxing), and the Duomo, a cathedral with a grand white marble façade. However, as wonderful as the sights were, Abby and I were most excited about the food, which was excellent.
On the first night, we had dinner at a wine bar called Enoteca I Terzi on a side street a few blocks off the main square. The food was incredible — by far the best meal we’ve had all trip. It started with an antipasti plate consisting of two types of cured ham, hard cheese, a spinach tart, a cheese souffle, sausage stuffed zucchini, and a fresh fig. Delizioso! We followed it with two plates of pasta: gnocchi in cream sauce with sauteed red peppers, and flat noodles with porcini mushrooms, and then finally a stewed beef secondo (main dish). The wine by the glass was amazing as well.