I grudgingly left Siena this afternoon after an incredible visit to the Basilica di San Dominico to see the severed head of Saint Catherine. She died while in Rome but the Sienese wanted her back so they smuggled out her head in a bag. When stopped by the authorities, the legend goes, all they saw was rose petals.

There is an awful lot of that in the history of the various (now) Italian cities, including the theft of St. Mark”s body by the Venetians, smuggled out in a vat of pig fat to avoid the prying eyes of the Muslim authorities.

I digress.

I left Siena by bus around 2. The bus is definitely the preferred mode of transport in Tuscany. An hour later I spied the beautiful dome of Brunelleschi in the distance! I can only image what people thought when they first saw it in the 15th century!

Here are a few pictures. I settled in to my hotel across from the Duomo and went out for some quick photos.