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Dear Siena

I have said many times I fell in love with you.

I don't know if love is a thing you can pinpoint or identify in a moment - maybe sometimes it is.

But with you, it was a series of moments and meals and people that made it all magical.

(( circa 2011))

You taught me to trust people - total strangers. 

You taught me to watch what I hang on the clothesline.

You taught me to be careful of how much

vino

to drink.

You taught me to take pleasure in the little things, like sitting in the Campo for an evening out.

You showed me the very best friends I ever made in college.

You gave me chances to practice becoming a better photographer.

I loved spending time note taking and journaling on your warm brick floor of the Campo.

I loved grocery shopping at Conad and struggling with buying stamps and bus tickets.

I learned that sometimes travel is a big mess, but it is mostly a fun, disorganized, spontaneous one.

One time a stranger ringed at the door - it was my land lord. 

But I was nervous to let her in, because I didn't know who it was.

When I finally figured out the door, and opened it up cautiously and slowly. 

She giggled at my reluctance.

"

This is Siena...

nothing to worry about. No one will come to get you, it's a small, safe town."

I felt foolish, but delighted. Before my trip I nervously purchased a just-in-case tube of Mace.

Never once had to use it. In fact, the only time I brought it out was in Rome.

my all-time favorite hang out in the entire country of Italy: the piazza del campo.

So, Siena, you're my little jewel - and the friends you introduced me to almost three years ago are still my favorite people.

You're still the home of the

best

 ristorante in Toscana -

la finestra.

Your history is understated compared to Florence, but still so rich and fascinating.

Every time I take a sip of red wine, it takes me to you. This time, this place, even if it is for a fleeting second.

a presto...

ciao, xo