Last weekend I went on a bike ride outside of Siena with some of my friends. We headed towards Monteaperti (an old battle site from the 13th century, back in the day when the Guelfs and Ghibellines were at war). I've heard the histories of Florence and Siena so many times that I figured I had to go see this place. Really there's nothing there so the actual point was to have a direction to go in. We ended up not going all the way because one of my companions couldn't hack all the hills. I'm not sure what she thought riding a bike through Tuscany would be like, but for some reason she was a little upset with so many hills. No worries though, it was a beautiful ride and a nice warm-up for more excursions to come.
Besides that I've been doing work, studying my Italian (finally learning a new tense!) and exploring. Yesterday I wrote a paper for my Sienese Art and Architecture course and it was amazingly wonderful to go sit in front of the work I was writing about for two hours. I sat, journaled, made notes for my paper, and attempted to sketch Duccio's Maesta. I'm really not very good at drawing but it was fun to try. Maybe more practice will make me better. . .
Best news of the week: there are signs of spring! And tomorrow I'm going on a hike with my friend Adriana and it is supposed to be beautiful! What a wonderful country; I can sit in front of masterpieces for as long as I want or go on a bike ride through the countryside whenever I so desire.