We left Florence at 8.30am in the morning and drove towards the Terreal San Marco Tile & Brick factory for a site visit. This incentive trip was organised by Terreal, which was why we had some factory visits scattered throughout the 9 days of our itinerary. It was quite similar to the Laumans’ factory in Dusseldorf but with even lesser staff as almost everything was automated!
After the visit, we were treated by the factory owner to the most fulfilling Tuscany lunch (or any lunch I’ve had for that matter) with no less than 5+ different kind of starters. I kinda lost count. We all did. Haha. We still couldn’t figure out the Italian’s version of a 3 course lunch. lol. Being asians, we couldn’t finish much, and we didn’t eat much of the main because we were afraid to be too full for desserts. Only to realise after that that there were no desserts. Just getting more and more confused day by day. Hahaha. These are our crazy starters that just kept coming and coming…
After which, we lugged our stuffed bodies on the bus for a 1.5 hours drive to Siena. Then dumped our luggage at nh Excelsior Hotel and another guide brought us through a walking tour around the city. We didn’t have much time as it was close to evening and the sun was already setting! Hence the gloomy looking pictures of Siena. Sorry ’bout that. She first brought us to this area where we can have an overview of the city and see just how packed together everything was. Its really weird and unique in a way, like a medieval version of Hong Kong with A LOT of slopes. Your ankles better be strong to live here man.
The buildings were really cramped together, and rather high (as compared to other Italian towns) because they were initially too ambitious and built their cathedral way too big for the city, forcing everything surrounding it to make do with the remaining space. Not too smart I must say. Hahaha. And seriously, the slopes (due to the city being built on top of a few hills), were really tiring to climb! Especially because the ground was hard, steep and kinda slippery if wet. Not too ideal for retirement. Haa. Please wear comfy sneakers if you plan to visit!
After the walking tour, we still had some time before dinner at 8pm, so we walked around the town area and shopped a little bit. My dad did most of the shopping. lol! He got himself a leather documents holder? It was really so nice, because we liked the worn-in/distressed leather look, it was full of pockets, and was the perfect size for his Windows Surface Pro. But uh, not cheap at all, about €238 if I’m not wrong as it was handmade in Tuscany. He said its an investment that can last a lifetime, can pass it to his grandchildren. Just trying to justify his purchase. Hahaha. Pass it to me pleaseee.
And then we stopped by Bata, because erm…for some reason we all thought Bata was like a Singaporean or asian brand or something. Did you guys know it is an european brand?? And its a Swiss brand you know! Wah, I didn’t know at all man, and they have so many nice leather products in Italy!! Seriously we Singaporeans are missing out with our version of Buy-And-Throw-Away. My dad got himself a pair of high cut leather boots at about €60+. Which is pretty darn reasonable for that kind of style & quality. I’ll recommend you guys to go check Bata out if you’re ever in Italy! All the major towns should have a few stores. And they have nice leather jackets, bags, shoes, at really quite reasonably cheap prices compared to elsewhere. Not bad! After that it was the usual dinner in hotel and crashed into bed. Abrupt end to the day. Hahaha.
Next post will be about visiting forts in Chianti, Tuscany! Meanwhile you can keep in the loop at my instagram account @phoebe.philo or my Facebook Album #BeeingInEurope for the rest of the images of the trip. I’ve been constantly updating there as well (: