|A photograph of one of the previous Il Palio in Siena|
|Siena's Campo Square that is actually fan-shaped|
The actual race only takes about 80 seconds, but there is lots of ceremony beforehand with the parade of flags of the contradas that dates back to the 13th century, and 30,000 spectators either standing in the middle of the square, or around the edge. Apparently tickets are already sold out for next year...
|The Byzantine columns in the Siena Cathedral|
Catherine was a mystic, philosopher and theologian who had visions of Christ from a young age which inspired her to dedicate her life to God, but at the same time she was literate, which was very rare for women then.
|Looking at the ornate ceiling in the cathedral's library|
You don't know where to look because there's 56 beautiful marble pictures on the floors, more black and white columns and arches inside inspired by the Byzantine period, and alcoves for religious figures. There's one for John the Baptist, with a bronze statue of him by Donatello.
|The "twin towers" ahead in San Gimignano|
|A bored beagle near the gelato shop|