Serendipity in Siena


Tuscany from the Train.

A view of Tuscany from the train window – just like you’ve always pictured it.

I’ve been back in Siena for almost 3 weeks now, and it feels like I never left. The city still stands majestic in its Medieval beauty, and the wine tastes just as good as it did last year. Gaggles of tourists abound, making navigating the main city streets an interesting task at times (I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain) and as always, the night sky over the piazza remains the most wonderful shade of blue.

And although I’m having my fair share of bureaucratic difficulties (which I will write about once they’re all resolved) it’s nice to be back. Siena never really loses its charm, and as it’s getting ready for Palio season the excitement and events are ramping up.

What’s been really interesting in these last few weeks, is the people I’ve met. Sure, the amici (friends) and acquaintances that I’ve made here in other years are always great to see, but this year, something new has emerged – lettori (readers) of Not Just Another “Dolce Vita”!

I can’t tell you how pleased I am, readers, when you contact me. Whether it’s with questions or queries (which I try to respond to in a timely manner!) or thoughts about something I’ve written, I think it’s meraviglioso (marvelous). What’s even better, is when you write to me and say something like:

Ciao Sarah!

I’ve been reading your (wonderful / interesting / funny / informative) blog for X amount of time, and I happen to soon be coming to Siena. I know from your posts that you love spending time in Piazza del Campo, so would you be free to meet up for a gelato / caffè / prosecco there and talk about our mutual love of Italy / Tuscany / Siena / the Italian language?

Ciao for now,

Your Blog Reader & Fellow Italy Enthusiast

This is a great message to receive, and I thank the few readers (Bonnie & Michael & Katherine) who have sent me something similar and who I’ve managed to meet up with in the last few weeks, and I also thank those who I still have to make plans to meet. Making connections is just one of the many things that’s great about having a blog where people can connect over similar interests and shared experiences.

As always, cari lettori (dear readers) thanks for reading!

More from Siena soon…

Talking About Siena


Not Just Another "Dolce Vita"Talking about Italy is one of my favrouite things to do. Talking about Tuscany moves even farther up the list. Talking about Siena, well… Talking about Siena is probably in my top three things to do after eating cake and drinking Prosecco!

Recently, Melissa Muldoon, the voice/face/writer/creative spirit behind the wonderful Italian language & culture blog Studentessa Matta asked me to participate in one of her podcasts and talk about… You guessed it! Siena.

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In the podcast, which I recorded in my (then) rusty and error-riddled Italian, talks about my Italian learning adventure and also the city of Siena. I would encourage all of my readers to hop over to Melissa’s blog and take a look – not just at my podcast (although that would be nice!) but also at all the fun things she talks about and explains.

Melissa also organizes some really fun language immersion vacations here in Italy. I actually published a guest post about them here.

Again, grazie Melissa for the opportunity to participate in one of your great podcasts!

Sarah in Siena


Not Just Another As of yesterday, I officially started my year-long sojourn in Siena. It took me 8.5 hours of plane, 48 minutes of train and nearly 3 hours of pullman (bus) to get here, but I arrived in Siena essentially no worse for wear.

What’s beautiful about coming back to a place you already know and love is the warm welcome you receive once you get here. I’ve talked about it a bit in posts like this one from a few years ago. Last night was no different. I barely had the time to shower and change before I was being whisked away to my favourite piazza for aperitivo and dinner with friends.

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Elegant aperitivo at my favourite spot: Liberamente Osteria, Siena.

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Delicious dinner at La Mossa, Siena.

Then, just when I thought it was about time to take a quick passeggiata and head home, my friends surprised me with a “belated” birthday cake. My actual birthday, which I’ve celebrated in Siena before, was June 8th, otherwise known as trans-atlantic moving day.

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27 in Siena.  Gnam gnam gnam!

Quindi (therefore), dear followers, now that I’m back in the bosom of Italy, you can certainly expect to see some more regular blog updates about life in Siena. As always, thanks for reading and following! Grazie!