Siena, sadly, was not to be. There was some kind of "work action", a slowdown, by the bus drivers and so buses were infrequent and mobbed. As it turned out, by staying in Florence I was able to talk with a Harley rider and see the start of a large running event. Interesting point gleaned from the bus schedule: "weekdays" here means Monday thru Saturday.
The rider belonged to a "moto club" from Pettrona and they pulled up in the Piazza del Republica right in front of me. His was the only Harley I’ve seen so far in Italy and the club’s dozen or so bikes were among the first real motorcycles I’d seen. He was riding a 2001 Softail and they were in town to work as volunteers escorting the runners. Unfortunately, he spoke no English so we didn’t have an extensive conversation.
The Florence to Pettrona race is 100 KM (60 miles) over the Pyrenees mountains. It started right in town at 3:00 PM (what an odd hour – most US races start in the cool mornings) and the start was chaotic. It was not a closed course per se, just a regular street in the pedestrian zone, and when the gun sounded, tourists were scrambling to get out of the way of the runners. Exciting to watch nonetheless; 60 miles is quite a run and there were all sorts of participants, including wheelchair racers.
So that’s it for Florence. This afternoon I’ll be boarding the Eurostart train again, this time for Rome and I look forward to the ancient ruins and the Vatican.