Monday April 18
Things are a little different in Italy, especially when it comes to public transportation in small cities. I took the Mini Metro to the train station, which I understood was the place to catch the bus to Siena. Actually the ticket booth was across from the train station, but they only sold tickets for city buses. The man directed me to a small office behind the ticket booth, but you would never guess that this is the place to purchase bus tickets, since it was called Radio Taxi.
I bought the one way ticket for 12 euros, and the woman directed me to a bus stop, which was under a bridge near a supermarket co-op. I found the place without much difficulty and had time to spare. The bus was 30 minutes late, so this provided me with an opportunity to practice my Italian with a woman who was going to visit her 96 year-old mother.
This bus was much nicer than the city buses. It resembled a charter bus or tour bus, which was great because it was not crowded, plus my luggage was able to be stowed in a luggage compartment.
I arrived in Siena after 90 minutes, and once I unpacked, I got some lunch and started exploring. It is another town on a hill, so of course I was getting my workout in for the day. I discovered the magnificent Duomo and also the immense Piazza del Campo, where the famous Palio horse races occur in the summer. I browsed around the piazza, had some gelato, and sat and wrote in my journal, enjoying the peace and tranquility, soaking up the atmosphere of Siena.