First, let me tell you about Zach. Zach is awesome. He spent a number of years in the US Coast Guard before starting grad school with Peter at MIT. He’s 25, from Cincinnati, a sports fan, and into fashion and sports cars. This is the part that will blow your mind: before this weekend Zach had never heard of Pee Wee Herman and didn’t know what Zack Attack was. I do not understand this.
Siena is in the Tuscan region of Italy. Tuscany is green rolling hills, vineyards, huge fields of sunflowers, and stucco homes with red tile roofs. One downside to Tuscany is the bread. Traditional Tuscan bread is not baked with salt, and it is not good.
Our first night in Siena, Zach drove us through the countryside to an old castle on a hill for dinner. It was delish. I had spinach and ricotta lasagna, Peter had tortelli, and Zach had hen.
Our second night in Siena, Zach took us to a Contrada Party. Siena is made up of 17 different areas called contradas. There is much contrada pride in Siena. Occasionally a contrada will have a party that consists of lots of food, dancing, and spirited fun. We expected a meal and some music, but it turned out to be crazier than any of us expected. I think the cast of Jersey Shore would really enjoy a Contrada Party. We were probably the only non-Italians, I was definitely the only pregnant person, and we were clearly the biggest party poopers. Despite our typical non-fun/non-party attitudes (I’m almost 30 and I’m pregnant, give me a break) at places like this, I did indeed shame my unborn child with a few brief moments of dancing on my chair. We had a great time. You should never visit Siena without attending a Contrada Party. Here are a few gems of Zach at the party.
Also while in Siena, we went to the Siena Cathedral, saw a random Contrada parade complete with flag twirlers wandering through the Piazza del Campo sometime past midnight, went to the San Domenico Basilica to see St. Catherine’s head and thumb, tested pici (typical Siena pasta), and ate a ridiculous amount of gelato.