Monday, November 14, 2011

the rooftops of siena

i wake up before sunrise just like i do when i'm home in maine. my brain doesn't seem to register that it's after midnight there; nice, no jet-lag issues.

but the difference between when i wake up in my own bed in maine and when i wake up in a strange bed in a foreign land comes down to the moment i pass from eyes-tightly-shut-sleep to eyes-mostly-open-alertness. unlike when i'm at home, the first morning i'm in a new place i don't lazily turn over, slide deeper under the covers, and squeeze my eyes shut again in order to extract a few more minutes of warmth and softness and peace before the day officially begins.


i simply can't do it. i can't roll over and go back to sleep

i'm too excited by the thought of smelling foreign air.

especially since my room is a few floors above street level in a city perched high on a hill overlooking the rolling toscana landscape of vineyards and olive groves.

instead i leap out of bed. (ok, i admit that's a disgusting thing to do at such an early hour—my husband is so totally appalled by my uncivilized leaping out of bed at this indecent time of the morning that he expresses his disgust by remaining an unmoving, mute, almost mummified-seeming kind of lump on the other side of the bed—especially since there is absolutely no need to get up yet.)

he can sleep. i, on the other hand, walk across the room, open the curtains, unlatch the interior wooden shutters (they are everywhere in italy) and then the windows and stick my head out to breathe deeply and look at what morning has to offer in the medieval italian hilltop city of siena .

ah, the view, the view (with no screens to block it!).....

in a city where all the buildings are fairly low, being at the top of one of them lets you see things like the black birds (are they ravens? crows?) do, as they swoop and dive and ride the air currents around siena's rooftops at dawn.

i am thrilled that the window faces east. here comes the sun.

i love the old red-tiled roofs that slope down toward narrow, cobbled passageways, many of which i later find out are actually one-way "roads" barely wide enough for small fiats and lancias. i discover this fact as i am rudely pressed against a building waiting for a car to pass.

beyond the rooftops is the rolling countryside shrouded in early morning mist. amazing to think the view has not changed that much in hundreds of years.

another good reason to jump out of bed in the morning like a madwoman.....

1 comment:

alexandra said...

oh siena, you hold a special place in my heart....