OK, granted this is a view of Sienna, Italy from October, 1982, but I bet it doesn’t look very different today. Sienna is a medieval city in the heart of Tuscany. Sienna holds an annual horse race – “Palio di Siena”, dating back to the 13th century – right in the town piazza (center, below). You may have seen the race scenes in “Quantum of Solace”, the Bond movie. The University of Siena is the oldest continuously operating university, starting in 1240. To put that number in context, the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. dates back to 1650.
The terracota tile roofs remind me of Santa Barbara, CA. Santa Barbara had architectural restrictions downtown, requiring all construction to be in the Spanish mission style – stucco & terracota – following the origins of the town. The result is one of the reasons why Santa Barbara is so beautiful.