Fashion Conscious in Siena

A couple of days ago, I wrote of my experience in Siena while walking to the main town square known as Il Campo.  I had changed into a pair of jeans and a sweater and was mistaken for a local by an Italian couple who was lost in the maze of narrow streets in Siena.  That got me to thinking about the current fashion in Europe. 

It’s about 10:30 p.m.  Earlier, the city was drenched with flooding rains that ran everyone inside.  Even now, there is a dampness and chill in the air.   As I look into the sky beyond the bell tower, I can see the weather is still a little “iffy”.  Hoping the rain is gone for good, I grab a table at one of the cafes surrounding Il Campo, making sure I get one with an umbrella and a view.  The waitress arrives with a slick little Bluetooth PDA on which she taps in my drink order and hurries off to another table. 

Soon my wine arrives accompanied by the obligatory “free” bowl of chips and peanuts.  I sit back and take in the “fashion scene.”  Let’s see, I’ll pretend the square is like the face on a clock. So if the bell tower is at “12”, then I’m sitting at about “8.”  Every guy I see is wearing jeans or cargo pants.  Fifty percent of the girls are wearing tight fitted jeans and the other fifty percent are wearing capris or pants.  It’s a young crowd.  Some guys are wearing polo shirts and invariably, their collar is totally “popped.”  Many guys have on logo jackets made of cotton which are always zipped all the way up to the neck.  A lot of the guys and ladies are wearing these “Emo” type glasses.  They seem to be very popular in Italy this season.  You’ve seen them… brightly colored, rectangular frame, low profile.  It must be the “in” thing.   

Most of the guys are drinking bottled beer. Tennents and Budweiser seem to dominate.  The girls seem to lean toward mixed girly drinks.  From inside the small “bar,” the sounds of Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” blast from the stereo system.  No one is dancing, instead everyone is standing around, laughing, talking, and generally having a good time.

All the tables at every cafe are now full.  There is probably a hundred people spilling out onto the square, all with drinks in their hand.  Glancing up, I notice the moon has peeked out from behind the clouds lighting up the sky.  It’s 11:15 and the party goes on.  No rowdiness, yelling, or horsing around as in American bars.  These people are not here to party, get drunk, and make a scene.  Instead it looks like a perfectly natural setting to gather and visit. 

I’ve just about finished my drink and snacks and it’s getting late.  Leaving, I walk across Il Campo to the sounds of “Y.M.C.A.” blasting from the PA system… but no one out here cares.

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About the Author
David McGuffin established David McGuffin's Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.
  1. Pingback: “These boots were made for walking” in Siena

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