Please join hubby and I as we continue our stroll through the maze of narrow streets in Siena ..
The Baptistery .. on a lower level than the Duomo
Steep steps up to Piazza del Duomo ..
The Pisan-influenced Romanesque-Gothic Duomo was built between 1215 and 1263 .. the lower part of the façade being built in 1285 and the upper half was added in the 14th century.
The 14th century was a time of great wealth and power for Siena, and plans were made to expand the cathedral into a great church that would dwarf even St. Peter’s in Rome. The already large Duomo would form just the transept of this huge cathedral.” Expansion got underway in 1339 with construction on a new nave off the Duomo’s right transept. But in 1348, the Black Death swept through the city and killed 4/5 of Siena’s population. The giant cathedral was never completed, and the half-finished walls of the Duomo Nuovo (New Cathedral) survive as a monument to Siena’s ambition and one-time wealth.”
Unfortunately we didn’t go inside
The Campanile was added in 1313 ..
Time to leave this amazing historical city, sadly .. but while we waited for our coach at the city’s gate, Antonella had organized for us to have, only one each, freshly made Ricciarelli .. a traditional Italian biscuit from Siena, dated to the 14th century. Legend has it that they were introduced by Ricciardetto della Gherardesca in his castle near Volterra upon his return from the Crusades. The biscuits are made using an almond base, with sugar, honey and egg white. When prepared the traditional method, the almonds are ground and the finished mixture is formed into oval shaped cookies that are set aside for two days before baking. Once baked, sprinkled with icing sugar. Yummm!!! I must find a recipe!
And so …. we made our way back to Rome ..
..through beautiful Italian countryside ..
Our final hours in Italy 😦 ….. follows