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Showing posts from December, 2013

YOUR CHRISTMAS GIFTS IN SIENA

I'm planning to write about Siena's National Museum (the Pinacoteca Nazionale) in detail in 2014, but before the old year is on its way out a quick reminder to visit the treasure trove of Sienese art in case you happen to be in Siena during the Christmas holidays. Especially if you travel on a tight budget. Italy's ministry of culture has decided to offer free access to the country's state museums on the 28th of December as a Christmas gift to art loving Italian citizens and travelers.  Apart of the extensive collection of Sienese art, the museum also offers some great views over the city and a well heated environment (just in case your hotel isn't).  The view from the first floor of the Pinacoteca Nazionale If you're after free folklore not art, visit Siena's San Francesco church instead. The cloister of the former monastery exhibits 50 presepi, Italy's famous Christmas cribs displaying the nativity scene (free entrance, daily from 3.30 pm- 7

SIENA INSIDER INTERVIEW WITH WRITER NINA BURLEIGH

Nina Burleigh is an American journalist (The New  York Observer, Time and The New  York Times among others) and au thor of five books. She has traveled widely and lived with her family in Perugia for a year whilst working on  The Fatal Gift of Beauty ,   a book about the trial of  Amanda Knox .  Considering Nina's accomplished curriculum the last thing I'd expected from our  meeting in Siena was  for her to arrive on top of a b icycle. Tourists walk and l ocals ride  - if anything - a Vespa through the up and downs of Tuscany's hill t owns. But hopefully, Nina Burleigh's three autumn  weeks spent  whizzing t hrough Siena on a b ike  will have changed this forever. What brought you to Siena? And was it just wine or food or were you working too? The Siena Art Institute and American artist Amy Yoes, who was curating a project involving expeditions with Mark Dion, and creating a major art installation at the Museum of Natural History, invited me to be writer in reside