Photos by Sarah Parks, (University of Virginia), Student Correspondent for CET Siena, Summer 2022
With my roommates Rachel and Federica in our apartment. Living in an apartment has been a fun way to get close to other people doing CET in Siena. Our apartment has a big kitchen and living room so we love hosting our friends!
Siena at night from one of my favorite overlooks. On the left is the Torre del Mangia and on the right is the Duomo. The brick buildings in the front of the photo are very typical of Siena-you can find views like this one all over the city because of its hills and winding streets.
Most streets in Siena look like this one. The streets are narrow and surrounded by buildings in warm shades of yellow, orange, and brown. Since there are very few cars and sidewalks in the city, you can just walk in the street-it’s a fun city to explore on foot.
Aperitivo in the Piazza del Campo with my friend Emma! Aperitivo (meeting up for light food and drinks in the late afternoon before dinner) is a big thing in Italy and one of our favorite ways to hang out and explore Siena.
The Piazza del Campo is central to life in Siena. It’s near the center of the city and is surrounded by dozens of shops and restaurants. We hang out here all the time, from aperitivo like the last picture to late-night gelato trips like this one.
This is another picture from the Piazza del Campo, this time during the highlight of our summer in Siena: the Palio. The Palio is a horse race that happens every year in July and August, and it is absolutely impossible to describe. It’s hundreds of years old but still hugely important to the people who live in Siena. It was so much fun and definitely the coolest part of the summer!
Weeks before the Palio, everyone gathers in the Piazza del Campo to learn which contradas (neighborhoods that form the teams in the Palio) will get to race that year. This was the first Palio since 2019 because of Covid, so it was an even bigger deal than usual. The Piazza was so crowded we couldn’t get in and had to watch the ceremony from this alley.
The winning horse and jockey of this year’s Palio during their warmup lap! I didn’t take any pictures during the actual race because I was too busy cheering. I love this picture because you can see the band and contrada men in costume-the parades leading up to the Palio are very loud and colorful.
One more picture from the Palio, this time from the celebrations after Drago won. It was so hectic and so fun to experience.
Selfie at the Leaning Tower of Pisa! We visited Pisa for an afternoon as part of a weekend trip.
A gondola ride in Venice during a weekend trip. We don’t have class on Fridays so I’ve gotten to travel a lot and see some amazing places.
Fanning ourselves to deal with the heat. It’s been hot all summer, but we’re in the middle of a heat wave now so fans are a must!
Someone snapped this picture while we were waiting for a table at a restaurant. Casual afternoons like this hanging out in Siena have been some of my favorite parts of the summer.