Restaurants & Bars

The Hills of Siena - L o n g

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The Hills of Siena - L o n g

Chuck | Oct 25, 2002 04:31 AM

OK Hounds - This may spark some serious controversy but here's just two Hounds' opinions. This place has the steepest, narrowest, longest and most confusing streets we're ever experienced in our travels.

If you have back problems, foot problems, heart problems, etc. you better think twice about this place. And, regardless of your health status, there is no way I can see anybody trudging up and down these streets in the middle of their summer!

Jim, I'll get to the food in a minute. I promise.

Unlike Venice and Florence, it is very hard to find English speaking Italians here, which compounds the problem of confusing street signs. It was an absolute nightmare trying to find any of the limited number of possible dining choices I had gathered during my two months of research. This was the one city that I'd experienced problems with finding good places to eat and stay. Many hotels were sold out months in advance - it is a very popular place.

The food? We hunted desperately for a decent pizza place for lunch. One of the Hound recommendations took us 30 minutes to find and when we did find it we heard from a little old lady "No Pizza Today"

So, I decided to seek out people who I thought might know a good place such as this fantastic bakery on the main drag and a caterer. All to no avail. We got lost trying to find each of their recommendations - hand signs are tough here.

Finally, we just gave up and ate at one of the pizza places in the Duomo. It was thin and well done like we like, but devoid of any taste. And, my wife's muchrooms were canned! How is this possible in a land with so much incredible produce? It was inexcusible.

Our dinner was only slightly better - a recommendation from the hotel since I'd already cancelled our reservations for Le Loggia at the behest of two NY'ers who had a terrible meal there and told us all about it in Florence. And, they liked Il Latin so you know how bad Le Loggie must be and its real expensive to boot.

We went to Trotterial Pettit and it was packed. Don't ask me why. The pasta was overcooked and my Tuscan Sausage, charbroiled, which is the Tuscan way of doing meats, was dryed out beyond repair. I should of sent it back, but it was only 6 euros and here again was probably the reason for the place's popularity - price.

My wife's chicken (she is on a chicken mission of 7 straight days of various types of chicken- she eats no red meat) was char broiled and excellent. But, the dessert was not good either - a sponge cake filled with a poor quality chocolate pudding.

Our hotel, Arcobaleno, was about a 10 minute bus ride from Centro and this place, the rennovated part, was just beautiful. Woods, brass, incredible bathroom - all for $110 which is dirt cheap in this town. But, it was noisy. Hey, for one night, we did not care. You might.

When planning to come to this place, be sure you know exactly where you are staying on the map because some should go by train and some by bus. And, if you stay at an expensive place in Centro, know that only cabs can enter Centro. If you take the bus and plan on walking to your hotel, you may be climbing steep streets.

Sorry for the length of this post, but I wish somebody would have told us the pros and cons of this place so we could have formed our own opinion. I know many of you like the place and that's fine.

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