Get Back to School with Redbubble – Shop Here! or Win Stuff Here!

Star Bright in Siena

It was the night before Christmas. Actually, it was two nights before I left our apartment in Italy to spend the holiday season at our home in Garland, Texas, but as we wandered the winding medieval streets of Siena it felt like Christmas Eve. The air was brisk, swags of Christmas lights hung above us and Christmas decorations adorned shop windows, while we walked by people carrying shiny bags of Christmas gifts.

When we reached the piazza of Palazzo Salimbeni, I felt like a child having received more than the Christmas gift I’d asked for. Not only did I get there in time to take pictures of this year’s large Christmas tree, but of it being decorated and of the lit palace surrounding it.

Shortly after taking pictures of Siena’s giant Christmas tree, we walked by a street vendor roasting chestnuts. Ding-dong rang the bells of the duomo when I spotted a cluster of lights forming a brilliant star appearing to magically float above Piazza Matteotti. Closer inspection revealed the cables holding up the star and its shooting trails of light, but I framed them to where what secured them didn’t show. The glowing star brought to mind the one so long ago shining brightly over the true meaning of Christmas.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year full of happiness and peace.

Currently unavailable for purchase

A Tuscan Christmas Story


tuscany, siena, christmas

My life as a global nomad (about 22 years) continues to influence my writing and photography. When I lived in Shanghai, I went through a sea change of sorts, resulting in a major shift in my writing (from fiction to memoir) and a great new love, photography. Currently my husband and I live in Garland, Texas, near our daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters.

View Full Profile


  • Susan Littlefield
    Susan Littlefieldover 3 years ago

    Beautifully written, Deb! The scene came to life with your description. Merry Christmas to you!!

  • Thank you, Susan. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

    – Deborah Downes

  • DebbieSmartt
    DebbieSmarttover 3 years ago

    I was there with your words! Beautiful!

  • Thanks so much, Debs. That means a lot to me. Hope you and your family have a super Christmas.

    – Deborah Downes

  • Lozzar Landscape
    Lozzar Landscapeover 3 years ago

    soo lovely Deborah, its these things that make our hearts glow bright at Chrissy, God bless you, Lorraine.

  • Thank you, dear Lorraine. Hope you have a glorious Christmas and a new year full of happiness and peace.

    – Deborah Downes

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait