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It has been ten days since we’ve been in Italy and it has been amazing. We have adapted to our surroundings to navigate comfortably through the streets of Florence. With the help of our instructors and having had a chance to explore the local hangouts, shopping, and restaurants, students have now established some favorites local food and retail. To list a few, the local gelato shop that sells the most delicious gelato on a cone for only a single euro; Bibi, an excellent leather store with very friendly owners; and Mange Toia, Irradi, and the Trattoria del Carmine, are highly praised in price, quality, and experience. The students’ spirits are high exchanging tips, referrals, and showing off their latest purchases. Perhaps it was overexcitement that did it or maybe it’s due to the early morning departure, on the 9:10am train and a short bus rides taking us to Siena, students were snoozing left and right.

Once we arrive at Siena, we get a tour of the castle and our tour guide give us the history of Siena which was used as a location for relics, prison, and preserved to maintain its characteristics. The compo, the center of the city has the tallest secular medieval tower and the square has a museum and beautiful fountain. We are informed that there are horse races that happen on the edges of the square: the court gets filled, the horses race out the pillars, and the center gets filled with hay. The most stunning and impressive of Siena are perhaps are the different emblems unique to its areas and the floors and stripes that are exquisitely displayed within the cathedral. Siena is beautiful and well preserved in its medieval style from the 1300’s.