Siena. Tuscan Hill Town.
So the tale goes like this:
Florence and Siena were rivaling towns. They didn't have established borders between each village, so they decided to make a contest out of it. Obviously. Each village was to send out their fastest rider at the first morning's "cockadoodle-doo!" by the local rooster. Wherever the riders met along their path, that is where the land would be divided between the two villages. Florence, being mischievous, chose to use their town's deranged bird (who was constantly crowing), as their starting pistol. This rooster would crow all through the night, thus giving their rider an incredible head start over Siena.
That is how the cities of Florence and Siena divided the land amongst them.
I have no idea if this story is true. I read it off the back of a menu while sitting outside at a restaurant in Tuscany. It was hilarious to me. Yes. I might have been drinking a vat of wine at the time. But anytime there is a story written on a menu, YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO READ IT. It's usually some of the best reading you can find. K moving on.
Stevie and I drove from our Tuscan abode down to Siena for a day trip and I am so thrilled that we did. Not only did we meet dozens of lovely people and eat even more gelato than I thought humanly possible, we got to experience this ancient city with such an interesting history. The town is surrounded by a gigantic stone wall, which makes it feel like a fortress (Helms Deep, anyone??)
The interior of the village has a humongous stone plaza where children (and greedy birds) can play as they wish. I could imagine myself living in one of the tiny village homes and sending my kids out to play; being able to watch them from the window and knowing that nothing harmful could happen to them, as they would be literally walled in. The setting looked like a movie, but it was even better because it was obviously real. People really lived there a thousand years ago, and people still reside there today. What a special town, set up high in the hills, surrounded by wine country and it's impressive, ancient wall.
// Caught this little fella mid-flight. //
// Gelato faces. A store that made me miss my mom... //
All the best Tuscan wishes to you.