Sense of urgency sold separately…

We awoke one hazy morning and went to the kind car rental people of Hertz, with a simple crazy idea… Give a motor vehicle to these two morons and let us drive around this country of yours, full of unfinished ancient roads and maniac drivers with no regard for human life and let us run around as we see fit. They agreed that this would be a fantastic idea and promptly handed me the keys to a marvel of Italian engineering: A Fiat 500, AKA the Cinquecento. Any conveyance worth even entering needs a name so we put our heads together and came up with the incredibly apt (to us anyway) moniker of “La Vendetta”

IMG_6595_tonemappedWe may have gone a little overboard on the photos…

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We zipped along the highways and mountain roads at the blistering speed of 120 Km/h!!! (about 75 mph…) and actually reached the eye bleeding, breakneck velocity of one hundred and forty five Km/h! that’s one hundred forty five thousand meters per fucking hour!! Yea, la Vendetta wasn’t exactly a McLaren but whatever, she was ours and we loved her.

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Our first real site was Monteriggioni, sure we ran around the night before but it was dark and rainy and the pictures weren’t great so we’ll start here. The view was amazing and we were lucky enough to catch some sun early this day.

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The castled city was beautiful but most of the good vantage points were restricted and completely off limits during the off season so we had to settle for views of the city from within mostly and no walks along its ramparts.

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Next we went to Siena where… Let’s just say… We are lucky to not be in jail. Or, not to exaggerate, we are lucky that we weren’t chased out of the city by locals with pitch forks and torches. This is no hyperbole, we fucked up on this one. It was mostly Google maps fault, but we still did the action (well I did since I was driving, but Kerry didn’t help).

How does this pleasant Piazza look to you?

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This is Piazza del Campo, smack in the center of Siena. Nice right? Quiet? Notice anything else? Completely devoid of cars. Well, google maps don’t really discern between walking paths and roads in old world parts of Italy like this, so as we followed the waypoints to the restaurant we were looking for, we found ourselves on more and more cobblestone roads, not much wider than our miniscule Vendetta. Plenty of leering from the locals and the distinct feeling that we weren’t supposed to be where we were until… Yup, we drove right into the Piazza, pretty much at the edge of the main building in the picture to the furthest right. I stop, Kerry yells to back up, no backing up was possible, so I do as any logical moron would do and, rather than drive directly across, I pretty much jump on the sidewalk and drive all the way around the Piazza. Moving pedestrians from the menus they’re reading, hurrying women with strollers off the path into the central sitting area and pretty much making the template for a large portion of the next Lampoon’s European vacation movie. Much more screaming ensues, Kerry is complaining about chest pains but we must power through. Finally we duck into an alley and I park Vendetta. We allow our heart rates to fall as we thank any number of gods that whatever police just watched that driving catastrophe figured that the paperwork outweighed the effort of calling us out.

The rest of the city was lovely…

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IMG_6593_tonemappedYou may notice the she wolf statues, not being Rome, that seemed a bit odd. After some research it’s because Siena, as legend has it, was founded by Remus’ son, so apparently he gets no credit but his dad does… Odd.

We are now sitting in Montepulciano and the view from where I’m sitting is beyond words but I’m very tired and it’s very dark so I’m going to end here for now.

Keep on keepin’ on…

Rob

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