La Storia-History

Taylor Baciocco
September 29, 2014

These past two weeks have been both generally incredible and incredibly busy.

The final week of orientation focused a lot on history, and honestly left me with a strong desire to learn more about Italian history as a whole.

It’s not that I find U.S. history boring, so much as the novelty of it has worn away with time. We grow up and go to school learning about U.S. history, and therefore it feels less interesting.

With Italy, the actual facts are not only new to me but also the history feels deeper here. Italian history extends far past the time period I focused on in my U.S. history classes in school. It is also incredible to be able to look around and realize that a lot of buildings I can see in Italy are older than my entire country.

(almost) the entire program in front of the most recent Palio banner


We visited one of the contrada museums. The museum we visited was for the Civetta contrada, which happens to be where I live in Siena. Mostly, the contrada museum housed the banners from the Palio-s that they had won in the past.

Now, living in the Civetta contrada, I had been listening to celebrations every night since my arrival.

Seeing the actual symbol of their victory was just amazing. The Palio banner is an intricate piece of art, and the contrada museum had banners that were extremely old.

In addition to the museum, we also visited the church and abandoned abby of San Galgano.

not the best picture of the sword in the stone, but there is a plastic cover over it to, I assume, prevent would-be Arthurs from tugging at it.

How about this for history: San Galgano is the site of an actual sword in a stone that many scholars believe inspired the legend of King Arthur. Archaeologists have dated the sword and confirmed that its age is correct to have inspired the legend.

After the church, we visited the abandoned Abby of San Galgano. I hope you recall my previous statements on the beauty of Siena and how it is just unbelievable, because it all applies to the abbey. After its abandonment, the bell tower fell, collapsing the roof of the abbey and leaving a fantastic structure open to the sky.

There really are no words for this one




It feels just plain bizarre sometimes to realize how much older everything around you can be in Italy, compared to the relatively new United States. Because I can see the history around me, I want to know more: more about the art, more about the legends, more about everything.

Then again, to be fair, I am a history minor. I guess I’m biased.



But trust me when I tell you that anyone can appreciate the beauty of this place.

Again, no words (and that’s rare for me).

Taylor Baciocco

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! I&#39;m Taylor and I major in English and minor in History at the University of Richmond. I am a novice traveler at best, and have never been anywhere a car couldn&#39;t take me, so I am incredibly excited to be studying in Siena, Italy for the next academic year. In addition to my major and minor, I also am incredibly passionate about music, voice and piano being my preferred instruments, and can&#39;t wait to see what musical outlets I find in Siena. I can&#39;t believe I&#39;m spending an entire year in a city I know I&#39;m going to fall absolutely in love with and I can&#39;t wait to share my perspective of Siena with you!</span></p>

2014 Fall
Home University:
University of Richmond
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