a day in Siena, Italy


OK, I am overcoming my intimidation of the 900 photos I took in Florence (!!!), and so this week I’m planning to share the best photos from each day. I hope you enjoy this trip “back” to northern Italy with me!


We stayed in Florence for 7 days, and our home base was this gorgeous apartment right on the River Arno. On our first two days in Florence, we explored on foot and took a rather enervating 3-hour walking tour. (Photos of our apartment and first two days’ adventures can be found here.)


On Monday we took the bus to Siena, a town about 1.5 hours away from Florence. It was a chilly, blustery day, but we enjoyed walking around the town, especially the main Piazza del Campo.




Lots of walking and chasing in Piazza del Campo!


We even managed a semi-successful family photo! Pro tip: tickle your children while taking photos. Guaranteed to make all of you laugh!


After Piazza del Campo, we visited the stunning Siena Cathedral. I loved the bold black-and-white stripes and striking blue tiles used throughout!



Looking up into the dome


St. Peter by Michelangelo


This room might have been my favorite spot in all our travels that week: the library inside the Siena Cathedral. The colors were dazzling. The photo above is of the murals around the walls; the photo below is a picture of the tiled floor. My sister and I found a corner and sat still to admire it for a long time.

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Auntie Jess may or may not have attempted to French braid Gil’s hair… So glad we finally cut it!


After our chilly touring, I scoured our awesome guidebook in search of a cozy trattoria (family-style restaurant) for lunch. We found the perfect spot! Trattoria La Torre served up amazing homemade pasta, house wine, bread, olive oil, and cheese.


We were so hungry and so cold, and the food was so good, and the company was so wonderful, that it goes down in my books as one of the best meals I’ve ever had.


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Jess snapped this photo as we were leaving the restaurant: Lena throwing a temper tantrum and me doing what I do a lot of the day! So there’s a touch of everyday life and reality to finish off this tour of Siena. Don’t want all my tickle-fest photos to fool you!

What is the best meal you’ve ever had? And why?

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12 Responses to a day in Siena, Italy

  1. Jennifer April 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Two things Becca:
    1. As a photographer/photojournalist myself now (www.favoritethingsphotograpy.com) I HAVE to tell you … you have a great eye for photog … you should totally explore it!
    2. Thanks for sharing that last photo. Priceless. Refreshing. So nice to see that other mamas are out there on the “battlefield” of bringing up upstanding little ones … all the JOY and all the FRUSTRATION. :)

    Thanks for sharing. <3

    • Becca April 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      Jenn, I just checked out your website, and I am totally impressed! You are the REAL DEAL!!! And your photos are fantastic!

      Thanks for your encouragement to me about photography. I really need to learn my camera. Elliott says I can’t get a new one until then, so that’s motivation for me, because right now I have a Canon XS… ie. whatever was the cheapest DSLR kit available 5 years ago! I do love it, though, and love seeing beautiful results.

  2. Courtney April 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Beautiful photos, Becca! We love Rick Steves, too– have you ever done any of his audio tours? They can be kind of fun (albeit a little corny).

    And ditto to the previous poster: thanks for posting the photo of you and Lena. That looks like my world, too!

    • Becca April 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      Courtney, that’s so funny about the “corny”! My sister was in an art museum in Florence reading aloud the Rick Steve’s guide, and a woman came up to them and said, “Is that Rick Steves’ book? Those jokes sound like his!”

  3. Kim Colmer April 1, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Becca-I love following your adventures! On of my most memorable meals occurred when my husband was stationed in San Diego. Out of the blue your Grandma Evie called to say she and Marie were in town (what? in California? I don’t even recall how or why now) and going to stop in. I decided to make them dinner…a vegetable stir fry I think-I probably cooked enough for a dozen people. They were some of my first visitors there. I don’t recall the food but I sure remember the joy of their company. I also remember being at our cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in late winter/early spring…My father would load a cooler w hot dogs and such and my brothers would take the cooler on the snowmobile while my father and your grandmother and I and my younger brother would cross country ski to a designated spot. Dad would build a bonfire and we would roast the hot dogs. Best hot dogs ever.

    • Becca April 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      Wow, those are some amazing memories! Actually, some of my favorite childhood meals involve hot dogs and s’mores around bonfires in Gramma’s back yard in Michigan. I loved those summer nights!

  4. Alica April 2, 2014 at 1:06 am #

    Oh my…the best meal I ever had? I can’t say I remember, but I’m sure it had something to do with the company I was with! :) Looks like you had a great time in a beautiful place! I must say…Gil with his hair braided makes him look almost exactly like Lena! :) I like the last picture too…a slice of real life that we can all identify with, for sure!

    • Becca April 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      I know, Lena and Gil’s faces are SO similar! Their hair changes everything, though.

  5. jess April 2, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    i’m still dreaming about that gnocchi….it was so good!!

    • Becca April 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      Wish I could make gnocchi like that!

  6. Mama bear April 5, 2014 at 1:56 am #

    Looks like an amazing holiday! Travelling with kids is something I always thought I would be cool enough to do but now that I’m a mum I have no idea how people do it.Hats off to you!! How do your little ones go with naps while travelling? Do they just nap on the go or they’re fine without them? My little munchkin gets stark raving mad without his napsies!

    • Becca April 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      That’s a good question! When they were teeny tiny (0-6 months), they would nap on the go in a carrier. After that age, though, we usually try to schedule our travels around our naps. For these adventures, we left in the morning and were home by 2 or 3pm so that they could still nap. It was a LATE nap, but it worked for them. I would go crazy if my whole life were regulated by their naps; there has to be some give and take, I think. But usually the naps win. :)

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