siena, italy - swim eat repeat in the italian countryside

Life is what happens when you're busy making plans, eh? We spent a good year planning out a big Italian wedding in June in Umbria, and a big two-week cross-country tour with my parents and big brother and sister-in-law who would be flying in from the States. And then, a few weeks before the wedding, Alex broke his foot, and everything went out the window. All plans were cancelled, and new ones were drawn up at the last minute.

And so we ended up in Siena.

Siena, Italy countryside

Views of Siena, Italy

Siena is a gorgeous, old-world city that flies under the radar and is blessedly not inundated with tourists.

Siena, Italy countryside

We stayed in a farmhouse just outside the city, nestled among the countryside's rolling hills.

Siena, Italy countryside

With a pretty fly (phat? jawsome? what do the kids say these days?) pool.


And where we spent a lot of time [watching Alex cook and then] eating delicious homemade meals.

Siena, Italy cathedral

Charms of the city...

Siena, Italy countryside

... and charms of the country.

Siena, Italy countryside

Fosso Bianco hot springs, Tuscany, Italy

Sure, Alex had a broken foot, but with my family in Italy -- the first time my brother had left the States! -- what are we gonna do, sit around and cry? Of course not! So we left the gimp at home and took a day trip out to Fosso Bianco, the natural hot springs in Tuscany, where Alex and I had visited last time we were in Umbria.

Fosso Bianco hot springs, Tuscany, Italy

Turns out... Alex and I didn't actually go to Fosso Bianco itself the last time.We'd made a wrong turn and visited the smaller pools up the trail. This time, we followed the really obvious signs, and found the crazy white sulfur mountains.

Fosso Bianco hot springs, Tuscany, Italy

It wasn't over-crowded, and we got a pool all to ourselves to stretch out in. To wit:

Fosso Bianco hot springs, Tuscany, Italy

Fosso Bianco hot springs, Tuscany, Italy

There's my dad making friends with the locals while getting a waterfall massage, and my gorgeous sister-and-law lounging around up top.

Fosso Bianco hot springs, Tuscany, Italy

Dad: "It's a sulfur-water selfie! It's a sulfie!" #dadjokes

Fosso Bianco hot springs, Tuscany, Italy

Fosso Bianco hot springs, Tuscany, Italy


Siena, Italy countryside

Siena, Italy countryside

Siena, Italy countryside

Doing laps & earning lunch.

Pretto restaurant Siena Italy
PRETTO - VIA DEI TERMINI 4, SIENA

Pretto restaurant Siena Italy

This was soooooooo gooooooood....

Pretto restaurant Siena Italy

Siena, Italy cathedral

My big brother pushing my man around Siena -- and all its cobblestones and janky hills -- like a champ.

Siena, Italy




Siena, Italy cathedral views

My mom said I'm not allowed to post photos of her on the blog but you know what, I love this photo so much. Sorry mommy.

Siena, Italy cathedral views

Views from the top of Siena's cathedral...

Siena, Italy cathedral

And from the inside. Absolutely spectacular.

Siena, Italy cathedral

Siena, Italy cathedral

Siena, Italy cathedral

Siena, Italy cathedral


We had to leave Alex behind a little while exploring Siena, so to make up for it we bought him ice cream.

Also, my dad kicked me off wheelchair-pushing duty after I hit a cobblestone and nearly dumped the poor boy on his face.

Siena, Italy countryside


We also made Alex cook all of our meals as we hung out watching soccer and throwing back beers.


Growing up, my family ate dinner together every single night. It was so nice to replicate that in Siena, and to include our spouses in such a beloved ritual.


My dad's t-shirt says "I heart dogs, it's humans that annoy me". FYI.



Pool time all the time. Before and after every meal, and every spare second.


Alex trying not to break the other leg going up the ancient, steep stairs to our house. This brief terror was worth it for the breathtaking backyard:

Siena, Italy countryside

Siena, Italy countryside

Siena, Italy countryside

It would've been heartbreaking to leave these stunning views, except that our next stop was Umbria, for our wedding! Stay tuned....