October 16: Milan to San Rocco a Pilli (just outside of Siena)

Today was a travel day, so this will be a fairly short post.

When planning the trip, we decided that the way to go would be to find a centrally located place, and venture out and back each day.  This way, we are not hauling suitcases, finding our way to lodgings, etc. So, I looked on Hostelworld, and found this B & B. It is just outside of Siena. 

This morning, we arranged for a taxi to take us to the bus station. It would have been €3 to take the subway, it was €7 to take a taxi.  We got there a lot sooner, and didn’t have to haul the luggage up and down the stairs in the metro. We caught our first train there. We had assigned seating, which was nice.  We didn’t have to worry about standing. The problem is that we assumed it was like airplane seating.  I looked at my seat, 11C, and assumed that Kelly and I would be next to each other. Turns out we should have been across from each other, which might explain why the two women across from us, friends from Switzerland, were a bit confused.  They had arranged tickets so they could each sit by a window, and were too polite to say anything.  When we realized our mistake towards the end of the ride, we apologized. They were very nice about it.

We had 11 minutes to change trains in Florence; we arrived a couple of minutes ahead of schedule, and were standing by the doors with our luggage when they opened. We made it with a few minutes to spare.

The second train did not have assigned seating, but there were plenty of seats available, so no standing.  We were fortunate to be seated across from an artist from Olympia Washington, and she knew a lot of history of the area. We talked most of the way there.  She said that there are so many farms and villas that now sit empty. The young people moved away and had no interest in running the farm, so the older generation bequeathed it to the Catholic church. The church has no interest in doing anything with them, so they sit empty. Very sad . . . 

We arrived in Siena, and set out to get to our B & B by bus(es). The first bus we had no issues buying the tickets, but had MANY issues finding where to catch the bus.  When we finally found it after looking for 20 minutes.  It was another 20 minute wait for the bus to come. We told the driver where we needed to go, he said he would let us know when we got there. He didn’t, but luckily we recognized when we got there and were able to get off.  We bought the tickets for the next bus, and had about a 40 minute wait for it. 

A side note here . . . you may wonder how we knew which buses etc. The B & B had clear directions on their website, we took a screen shot of them (as we don’t have  data on our phones here; we use wi fi when we find it). When we caught the second bus, we were able to follow their directions and arrived with no problems.  We paid a total of €5.60, but a taxi would have cost us €20, so we were happy to save the money.  We did decide, however, that we would invest in the taxi on our way out when we leave with our luggage to save the time and headaches.

Travel days are always a little frustrating for us, so we were very relieved to arrive.  The villa more than makes up for the hassle! It is exactly what I would have hoped for. This is a working farm that has 220 hectares, and has been in the same family for 9 generations. Our room is lovely, and this time we have an ensuite (bathroom within the room as opposed to a shared bathroom). 

We got situated, took a couple of photos, and by this time it was after 6 pm. Tired and hungry, we headed out in search of food. The town square is only a few blocks away. I was in no mood to do any extensive grocery shopping, and I did not want to have to come back here and prepare food, so we bought a few necessities and went to a restaurant.  We had bread with olive oil, salads, and I had parpadelle (flat pasta) with wild boar sauce. It was yummy! 

Now we are relaxing in the room, with window open and ceiling fan on, getting the room nice and cool for sleeping tonight. Tomorrow, we are headed back in to Sienna, as it is nearby and will only be a very short bus ride.

So, maybe the post was longer than I thought, lol, but keeping it real, folks.

Our room, and the view from our room . . . 

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