San Gimignano, Siena, and Bologna (Italy pt 2)


Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and singing to herself.

IT SEEMS sad to group these three beautiful cities into one blog post, but I visited each for just one day. I was simply passing by, climbing towers, eating pumpkin ravioli, and basking in the changing colors and energy each city brought.

SAN GIMIGNANO: This quaint medieval town feels like the set of an old black and white Italian movie. The city scape has various bell towers sticking out; each noble family had one. We climbed up one and got the best view of Italian countrysides and moss covered roof tops. It was raining on the day we visited settling a mist over the rolling hills. With my jacket clutched tight, we visited churches, walked along the winding cobblestone, explored a torture museum, and saw the old cisterns they used to drink from.

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SIENA: This city is known for its horse race held twice a year in the big square. It is rich with churches, bell towers, palaces, and other old buildings still preserved. I noticed a lot of celestial detailing in the churches; suns and stars on the ceilings and moons on arches.

The church of Santa Maria Assunta quite literally made my jaw drop. From the moment I walked in until the moment I left, I did not say one word. My neck was craned to try and take in every detail. Firstly, the outside was ornately frosted with pale pinks, golds, and white marble. The inside was a contrast of deep blues and golds. Striped columns and star covered ceilings danced all around me. The floor was also intricately inlaid marbles of black and white depicting scenes or family crests. Even though the interior was so busy, is seemed harmonious and calming instead of overwhelming. It was by far my favorite church I saw on my Italy trip.

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BOLOGNA: This city is definitely known for its food. I loved exploring the back alleys of fruit and veggie stands and fresh made pastas in little windows of the wall. We were also in on a Saturday, where the main square was littered with street performers: mimes, drum players, painters, singers, artists, puppeteers, one guy doing motorcycle tricks.

We also visited the University there which was the oldest still functioning University (built in 1088). Part of it had been converted into a museum, with objects people used to study. Maps that had question marks in parts unknown, models of what they thought a parrot might look like, dried fish and eerie looking surgical tools. Outside, students were playing in the quad and sipping coffee as if it was any other ordinary college campus.

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stay messy


  1. wow i would love to visit that university…to think that students stumbled in and out of the building since 1088 gave me the goosebumps. A thousand years of young students dreams, aspirations and lifestyles embedded between the university pillars and classrooms.

    Thanks for sharing xx

  2. Lauren says

    One thing I loved about Bologna was the lack of linear streets… i found that it was impossible to look down the entrance of a street and immediately how long it ran and what it had to offer; it had to be walked down, the corners peeked around to see all of its wonder. It sounds like you had an incredible time- thank you for sharing your experience, Emma.

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