Just looking at the outside its unique stripes set it apart but overall the scale, grandeur and history housed inside the Duomo of Siena was indescribable. Much of the artwork in the Duomo is based not only on Christianity but also roman and pagan elements. Inside the Duomo, among other things, we saw the Piccolomini library, which contained incredibly vibrant frescos and paintings on the walls and ceiling. Getting to know Siena, you really start to see these combinations of contrasting ideas; pagan symbols with Christian, public spaces with private monuments. My friend Sam and I met up with our language exchange partners on Friday. We all took a walk up to the Fortezza and watched the sunset, while speaking in a mix of Italian and English! Today we decided to go up to the top of the Facciatone, the unfinished wall of the Duomo. This part was supposed to be a grand addition to the Duomo which was being constructed in 1339. However with the black death entering the city, construction was halted and it remained unfinished. The view from the top of the Tuscan countryside was awe-inspiring and we got to see the entire city from above.
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<p>Jessica Heymach is a junior at Lehigh University with a double major in International Relations and Sociology and Anthropology. She cannot be happier to be studying abroad in Siena, Italy this spring. Jessica is from Long Island, New York and loves adventures, whether it is hiking in the Adirondacks or scuba diving in Maui. She has a passion for photography and art. Traveling has always been her dream, and she cannot wait to explore and experience as many cultures as possible.</p>