We handed over our Instagram to a few students this month and asked them to take us through their day in their host city. This is Clara’s day in Siena (October 19, 2015).
Good morning! My name is Clara Kobler, and I’m spending my entire junior year in the lovely little city of Siena, Italy. Today, I’ll be taking you through a typical Tuscan day! This is me a few weeks ago on my program’s field trip to the beautiful island of Sardinia.
I have Italian class four days a week, from 9-11 in the morning. I’m in the advanced class, and today we covered teenager stereotypes in America vs. Italy. My classmates were happy to pause class to pose for this picture, with our professor seated in the middle.
This is the gorgeous view from most of our classrooms. The cathedral on the hill is the Basilica di San Domenico, and inside of it is the mummified finger of Siena’s Saint Catherine. 😱
Monday is my lightest day of class, so after Italian I decided to take a walk around the city center. This street, Via dei Rossi, is one of my favorites and leads down to the best gelato store in town. I only barely managed to resist buying some!
Speaking of gelato, I caught a glimpse of some nearby the main Piazza. But here’s a secret! Gelato piled high tends to be old and less tasty than others. Instead, the best gelato looks well-scooped. The high gelato piles is one of the biggest tourist traps here in Siena! It sure is pretty, though. 😍🍦
Something super unique about Siena is the 17 contradas, or neighborhoods, that make up the city. People are born and baptized into these contradas, and each contrada has its own animal and color scheme that is displayed on their flags. My own host family’s contrada is the dragon. Every July and August, the contradas participate in a horse race in the Piazza del Campo called the Palio. The winning neighborhood gets a painted tapestry prize but more importantly, glory. I saw these flags on the Main Street of town today!
The afternoon wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Piazza del Campo, Siena’s main square! Today the sun made the bricks nice and warm on a brisk autumn day.
My favorite part of studying abroad has been this part – my host family. Mine consists of a mom, dad, and eighteen-year-old daughter. I already can’t imagine my life without them! This is us after today’s family lunch time, when everyone came home for a siesta period.
To finish, here is the sunset seen from the window of my living room. It is absolutely breathtaking every single time. I hope you all have enjoyed my day in Siena, it was fun to show you! 😄
Clara is a current student at College of William and Mary studying at Siena Italian Studies in Italy during the Fall 2015 term.