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Pisa, Siena then Rome 25/02/2011

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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c. 1880

There are two routes from Pisa to Rome – one by Leghorn and the coast, which would have obliged us either to stop the night at the uninviting town of Civita Vecchia, or to have arrived at Rome late in the evening. We chose the other route by Sienna. To go by Sienna, the traveller proceeds eastward about half-way along the railway to Florence, and changes carriages at Empoli. From Empoli the railway strikes off southward to Sienna and Rome.

Sienna stands high, being 1330 feet above the level of the sea, and is considered a place of summer residence for its coolness. was therefore somewhat apprehensive, considering the cold weather we had endured, lest it might be too cold. Although, however, it stands high above the level of the sea, it does not seem to be more than 200 feet above the level of the surrounding country, or of the railway, and we did not find it very cold. But a change had taken place in the weather, and it was again a fine cloudless day.

Having decided to go by Sienna, we could not resist making another excursion to the cathedral before starting by the mid-day train, and were all but tempted to ascend the Campanile. But to an invalid it looked chilly outside, and the height deterring; and I being the only one who might have gone, the custodier could not take me alone, the rule, to guard against accidents or suicide, being that not less than three must make the ascent at a time.

The cathedral looked much finer in the sunshine, and we could have lingered long examining it in detail, and would gladly have had there the wearisome time, well-nigh an hour, we were, according to Italian custom, required to spend in the salle-d’attente of the railway.

The journey from Pisa to Sienna, about seventy miles, is through a mountainous country, with some places of interest by the way, though our prospect was much contracted by reason of a passenger in the carriage who would draw down all the blinds on his side and read a book the whole way, till his wife, out of shame, seeing our disappointment, persuaded him to allow one of the three blinds on his side to be raised, there being no sun peering in even to justify an excuse, which, indeed, never was made. In four hours and twenty minutes we arrived at our destination.

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