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Maurice Greer’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 22 Oct 2009

Location: Siena area, Italy

MapThis morning we packed a lunch and started out towards Florence with light rain falling. When we got to Siena, on to the 4-lane highway north to Florence, we got caught in a traffic jam. After moving slowly for only a few minutes we came to a complete stop at 11:45 am. At 1:00 pm we were still parked and the rain had stopped so we decided to have our lunch in the car. Then at 1:15 pm, the police had worked their way through the line behind us turning cars around so we headed back on the wrong side of the highway to the nearest exit. There must have been a really bad accident to completely block the road but we don’t know for certain. We decided that it was too late to drive another route to Florence so we drove into the Tuscan countryside to the village of Monteriggioni, approximately 15 km away from Siena. This village, built mostly in the 13th century, has a complete wall around it and 10 or more towers along the wall, two with narrow entrance gates. There is an old church inside the walls and a number of quaint old buildings which are used today as wine, pottery and art shops selling to the tourists. There are lovely views over the Tuscan countryside from outside the walls. We drove back south, about 35 km, through the wooded hills and vineyards to Rosia and then on to the small village of Monticiano which has another old church with an interesting bell tower. Unfortunately the church was closed and there was not much else to see in the village. Maybe we will have better luck going to Florence tomorrow.