One could spend many days discovering the delights of Florence, but it was time to move on. Laetitia began this day’s tour by visiting Florence’s rival to the north. Mention Siena and many will think of the Piazza del Campo, were Il Palio is held twice every summer. Neighborhood associations compete in the bareback horse races that are among the most popular events of the year. Laetitia’s tour began with a walkabout in the Piazza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Typical of the city squares of Tuscan hill towns, the Palazzo Pubblico (city hall) with a disproportionately tall tower dominates the scene. The towers, of course, housed bells and clocks and were useful for defense, but they have not escaped the notice of those of Freudian bent who view them as symbols of erect male genitalia. There was, of course, competition over whose tower was tallest. This tower was designed to be higher than that of Siena’s rival, Florence and was at one time the tallest in Italy. It is the same height (330 Feet) as the campanile (bell tower) of Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral) indicating equal power sharing between church and state. After the square, Laetitia took her group to the cathedral, the baptistery, and the Contemporary Art Center. Over an espresso in late afternoon, Laetitia wrote down the limerick of the day.
That Tuscan men used to embower
Clocks and bells in a very tall tower
Has women annoyed
Who say with Herr Freud
“That it’s just about sexual power.”