It’s always a great feeling when the locals stop treating you like a tourist.
It took me about three weeks to feel like a local here. Siena is a small town, I feel like it should have been easy enough… I first felt it while sitting on the steps of Il Duomo one day this week, people watching. I was relaxed… not a relaxed that I’ve encountered before… but relaxed… Relaxed like it was a lifestyle.
I think I’ve found it, I think I’ve finally found Dolce Far Niente; the sweetness of doing nothing. The moment I found that lounging around didn’t lead me to feeling guilty. And by God it’s a sweet, sweet thing. I see the same people over and over again, and they see me; doing the same thing… nothing. Siena is a city where it’s very easy to do nothing. After living here for almost four weeks, you come to realize that Siena isn’t a place were you go to do a lot. Besides the week of Il Palio, it’s a city that runs at a slow pace. You stroll through the labyrinth streets, you sit along the old city wall and gaze at the countryside, you lay down on the sloping Piazza Del Campo with a bottle of wine. People come to this city to take it slow. Thus, the perfect city to discover the life of Dolce Far Niente.
But I’m not just another tourist in this city, the locals are getting to know me at the bars and markets that I frequent. In the evenings, Aperitivo is my favorite; the taste of a spritz, the smell of other’s cigarettes, the voices of Italians in heated conversation. Of course I’m always going to be the American, but it’s an incredible feeling to feel like this city is just a little bit my own. It’s just a shame that I only have one week left in this beautiful treasure of a town.