The sun still beats down warmly over the Sienese countryside

The sun still beats down warmly over the Sienese countryside in September, and the stubble left by harvest covers the fields with a sort of animal fur. It is one of the most beautiful countrysides in the world: God has drawn the curve of its hills with an exquisite freedom, and has given it a rich and varied vegetation among which the cypresses stand out like lords. Man has worked this earth to advantage and has spread his dwellings over it; but from the most princely villa to the humbles cottage they all have a similar grace and harmony with their ochre walls and curved tiles. The road is never monotonous; it winds and rises, only to descend into another valley between terraced fields and age-old olive groves. Both God and man have shown their genius at Siena.

Maurice Druon