Posts Tagged ‘siena’

Shift

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

I decide to tough out Siena. I eat. 

I find an osteria on a sloping, between-building street and I order pasta and rabbit and wine. About the rabbit. My grandmother makes it. I don’t know. And I definitely went through a high-school-and-college sort of phase where I was like, ew. Bunnies. But some fundamental thing in my life seems to have shifted, because now I’m like. I eat cows. So.
It is actually splendid. Very pomodoro. Super tender. Almost as good as my grandmother’s which is saying something. 
On the train from Siena, I see remarkable Italy. Crumbling castles and cities on hills and acquaducts and vineyard after vineyard after vineyard. Enough to write a hundred fairy tales, so that’s what I did to pass the time. Or I at least wrote one. A piece of one. 
And then Rome. Which is exciting when you’re still on the platform, screaming, gilded, honking. I am in love already and scared to death, which is how life should always be.  
Remind me to tell you about how I hate backpacks. And money belts. Not for you, necessarily. I’m sure they’re great for you. But they’re not great for me. 
I just saw the Trevi Fountain. I forgot to throw in a coin. 

City On a Hill

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

In Siena on a dreary day and wondering if I should stick this out, wander the streets, find the restaurant I tried and failed to find today that serves pasta with rabbit ragu. Or if I should scram at the crack of dawn for Roma. For my super-hip hotel. For a city. Pace.

The hostel where I’m staying is spotless (read: clinical) and miles outside of the city center and there might as well be signs on the walls that say No Fun, Whatever You Do. I came downstairs and there were two women sitting writing in their journals. And I thought, Oh Christ this is me in ten years.

But Siena. I tried really hard to be mad at it. To be mad at its retarded city bus system (the only way to get around) and its hard-on-the-ankles cobbles and its straight-from-the-factory gelato. But then I found the homemade gelato and walked to the city limits and saw the views over the Tuscan hills — lush, sun-dabbled, gleaming — and found the ancient city walls and the statues of the Virgin in the enclaves and said wordless, formless prayers in the tiniest little churches and scanned the wide panorama of the fan-shaped piazza and watched Italian kids kick around a soccer ball and smaller ones pat a dog.

And I thought, OK, I’ll let myself love this.

I walked the entire city, end to end, in three hours. A passing glance. With a terrible map and shoes that are rubbing at the back leaving bloody spots behind. I paid 5 Euro for bandaids and another 5 for bus tickets that I will probably not use. And still, I let myself love it.

There are things that I want to do here that I don’t think I will be able to do in the next 12 hours. Drink wine in a trattoria in the hills. Wander through a vineyard. Fall madly in love. Buy a villa.

This is not the time in my life for Siena. Someday, Siena. Not now. For now, Rome calls.