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Sunday, May 27, 2012

New English friends in Italy 2012

More from my early days in Italy

First day in Sienna

I arrived mid afternoon via rail to Sienna on Saturday the 5th of May. It was wonderful seeing the beautiful countryside pass by my window. I do love to travel by train.

When I arrived I immediately headed into old town Sienna via the town bus as my hotel was outside of the town centre.

And so my adventure begins again.

I was waiting at the stop closest to the hotel for about 20 minutes and from what I could make out on the sign the bus should be there any minute now. (Of course the sign was written in Italian so what did I know!) Just then a young girl passed by and told me the buses didn’t run on Saturday or Sunday from that location and that I had to go to the stop further up the road. Thank you!

When I arrived to the old town I was dropped off at the main bus area and thought I would easily find my way back. Not even close. I’m not sure how it is even possible to get lost in such a small city but as I was wandering around taking pictures and sketching that’s exactly what happened.  After 4 hours photographing my way through these spaghetti streets I saw a map on the wall and realized I was totally at the opposite end of where I should be to take a return bus.  

Now I know it was too late to make it for the last bus of the day so plan b, as they say, was to hire a taxi. Many in this area didn’t speak any English and unfortunately I have no Italian in my vocabulary other than Ciao and spaghetti! Then a young girl walked by and I thought if anyone would know English she would. Sure enough, she was gracious to help. She pulled out her cell phone, dialed a taxi and told me to wait for 10 minutes and he would arrive here where I stood. I could have hugged her! By this time it was getting dark and I really didn’t have any desire to sleep in the street!

When I returned to the hotel I headed to my room and along with 2 other couples we tried to make our way in the dark down a rather steep walkway.  I told them to stop and I would go back inside and ask them to turn the lights on.  They were experiencing electrical issues so a girl came out and helped us with a flashlight.  And voila – I’ve just met some new friends!

The next morning in the breakfast room my new friends invited me to come along for a drive through the countryside. Wonderful!! We had a great day exploring and taking pictures. We also met the owner of a winery not far from where we were who invited us back to his vineyard on another day. We really had a great time together sharing lots of laughs and smiles.

They asked me what brought me here to Italy all the way from Canada and when I explained I was here painting and writing Dana and Richard told me of their interest in painting. More the husband I was told but they both enjoyed it.

Dana and Richard

Leslie talked about her many creative endeavours. She loves fashion and has a good eye for design. I told her she should paint some silk scarves the beautiful colours of the Tuscan hillside. I hope she does. Len was our resident wine expert and we learned a lot from him about the art of wine tasting. 

Len and Leslie

They were very understanding about stopping the car at almost every turn so I could take pictures too. Wonderful!!

Many people have said to me over the years that when they travel they rarely get to know others. How do I do it? Simple I say, just open your heart and mind. Opportunities are all around if only you take the time to see what is before you. 

I love how I meet the most wonderful people in my travels. It was great getting to know them and we all really hit it off. Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll meet again....I’ll bring the flashlight!!


  1. What a lovely story, Connie!!

  2. Thanks!! I have met many incredible people along the way!


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