After three wonderful days spent sightseeing and shopping in Rome, we hopped on the bus to head toward Florence. On our way, we stopped in Siena. We were given two hours of leisure time to eat lunch and explore. We were happy to discover that we arrived during a chocolate festival! The square was filled with kiosks selling yummy chocolate. We enjoyed shopping and eating chocolate. Did we mention there was chocolate?
We left Siena for an hour and a half long bus ride toward our new hotel; our guide told us that it was a unique family owned hotel that was once a villa to members of the Medici family (the godfathers of the Renaissance). It certainly is nothing like any hotel any of us have stayed at before! We arrived at our new hotel around 6:30pm and were welcomed by the nice bell boy, Jimmy, to the joyful sound of birds. (We later realized there was a motion sensors bird you alarm next to the front door). The walls are covered in interesting paintings, and the building possesses a gothic aura. After climbing an eerie spiraling staircase adorned with antique busts, we were surprised to find tidbits of history at our fingertips. Each room on the top floor is dedicated to a strong Renaissance woman, as we discovered upon reading the small laminated packets provided in each room. One such woman, Isabella de’ Medici, the daughter of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, lived in the 16th century and died of strangulation by her husband. Bianca Cappello, another noblewoman, was poisoned with arsenic along with her husband shortly after her marriage.