Clothes. Breakfast. Made it out by 11:30am and ran to the bus stop just a few feet from the edge of the property.. so naturally, we walked a bit. But not too much. 11:37am was the time our bus was going into Siena. We arrive a little after 12:00pm and walked about. The town is great! Shops everywhere, mainly boutiques, and small cafes. So many shops, and bustling with natives and tourists. It was hot again today! I am very good at forgetting my hat, but being hydrated is the most important. We browsed, Bridget bought a sun hat. At some point we lost each other, but knew we had to be at the Duomo at 13:15pm for our lunch date, which we had set up with Mauro the day before. I, of course got to the Duomo by 12:30pm, and sat and watched people. That is my favorite thing to do. Sit and watch people! I can take that any day over a smart phone.
By 13:10, Bridget and her brother came strolling into the square, and we waited… 13:16… 13:20… 13:27… we finally called Mauro. “Yes! Come to the back of the Duomo and someone will meet you.” That made Bridget nervous, but I had trust and told her it would be okay. We waited, and the anticipation grew, I could feel Bridget become antsy… But soon enough, came Mauro, out of a small door a little down the hill from us. He smiled and we all said hello. We followed him inside, down a flight of stairs, deeper and deeper into Siena. Bridget’s brother gave me a look of excitement. We continued to follow him, and went up a large flight of stairs, and inside we came to a room, where Petra and Deborah were sitting! We all said hello with big smiles! About 10 minutes later, we were brought into another room, which was filled with food! The table was set and two other women had arrived. They were the teachers. We had a great lunch! Very Italian! We had some sips of white wine, which I drank out of politeness. We opened up with a small soup, then came the main dish and to close, some watermelon. About 20 minutes later, cookies with coffee. It was a great afternoon. I looked at the clock, and it was already 16:15! I was shocked! We said our goodbyes and continued a tiny bit through the town of Siena, where we came upon the racetrack that once was. A few days before we arrived in Siena, they had a massive horse racing event, called Palio di Siena. You could still see the sand which was used for the horses, embedded in the cobblestones.
It was a long day, and we took the bus back to our villa. It’s so fun to come to the feeling that places do feel like home! The bus ride back, felt like just second nature and so comforting. Now it’s pool time!