Last night I decided to make the effort to go out after all. I was glad that I did. Our whole group was invited to the home of Paolo and Tiziana, a local couple who are friends of some of our teachers. They made us welcome to their beautiful home; a fifth floor apartment with amazing views (as pictured here) of the city's skyline on one side and across the river towards Piazzale Michelangelo on the other. They wined and dined us until our jollity overflowed into song. This persuaded Paolo to sing some opera, in Italian, which rather shamed our amateur efforts. After our exertions in the heat of Tuscany and Florence it was delightful to relax in someone's home and to enjoy such personal and personable hospitality.
This morning we were outside the hotel at 0800 for the group photograph before setting off to the Duomo. A hardy sub-group had tickets to climb the campanile. The rest of us did our humble best at ground level until, as arranged by our local friends, we were granted privileged admission before the general public. Two Italian soldiers and a Humvee were stationed right outside. It's sad that in the current climate of terror we must fear someone would damage such a magnificent part of Europe's heritage.
This afternoon we have our final class and critique session. I will see Siena through the eyes of my classmates who were there in the blazing sun yesterday. I am told it reached 40ºC at one stage so I don't regret my decision to skip that outing. The workshop ends with the "farewell dinner" this evening and Speranza and I will hit the road tomorrow morning after breakfast to drive back towards England.