Blogs from Siena, Tuscany, Italy, Europe - page 2


Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena September 7th 2018

We left Florence early to drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside to the walled city on a hill that is Siena. The typical Italian houses with red tile roofs dot the hills. At one of the gates in what seems like a bustling town if you gauge the traffic traveling In around it. Our guide Camilla was a lot of fun. She is s long time resident and obviously loves living there. We walked up to the Duomo, one of the most beautiful inside and out. The outside is striking with its alternating Black and white stripes and its highly decorated facade with sculptures all over. But inside, not an inch is left undecorated. The floor is covered with marble inlay scenes. The vaulted ceiling is covered with Biblical scenes. We went into a library, where ... read more
Costumes worn by the Forest jockey in recent years
inside the Duomo (cathedral) in Siena

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena May 29th 2018

On Tuesday Bev and I took the bus to Siena and stayed the night. I think we’ve all seen the horse race, the Palio, that occurs in the Piazza del Campo twice a year, July 2nd and August 16th. The mind boggles just thinking about it. Horses racing on the smooth cobblestones around a very tight sort of circle. Some people we met were telling us about how different areas compete before hand so their horses can race. Only a few are selected. I found the piazza bare and stark. The heat was very intense without any shade. The surrounding buildings are very beautiful and for some reason none of them have balconies So there is no relief from the flatness. The Gothic Duomo was awesome with its white, green and red marble facade with striped ... read more
Buildings around Piazza del Campo
More buildings surrounding the piazza
Palazzo Publico

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena May 24th 2018

We had a wonderful sunny day for our trip to Siena from Gaeta. We left the marina at 10am, caught a bus to the train station, had time for a cappuccino while waiting for the train to depart and we were off. We traveled past lots of greenhouses, vineyards, mountains and beautiful vistas. We had a 2 hour layover for the next train giving us time to wander out of the station to stretch our legs and have lunch. Arriving at Siena about 6pm we headed up the hillside using numerous escalators to get up to the central historic portion of town. It didn't take too long to check in and we were out of our room again so we could get a feel for the town before dark. It was pouring when we left, but ... read more
Siena Is Full of Alleys to Explore
Views of the Siena Skyline
Such Inviting Windows

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena July 16th 2017

Today we planned to make a day trip to Siena, an hour and a half train journey south of Florence, so we had a little lie in (9am) in the morning, got ready and walked down to the station for our lunchtime train. Obviously, we picked some seats in the one carriage of the 15 or so carriage train where the AC was broken (as later confirmed by the conductor) so it was a bit of a sweaty one. I just read my book on my lovely new Kindle and tried to keep my back away from the seat whenever possible? The train station in Siena was at the bottom of a pretty big hill, so we were pleased that it was next to a shopping centre which had a long series of escalators and travelators ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena June 18th 2017

Waking up in Tuscany, how does one describe what has been described by writers, and poets and dreamers for centuries? I was sure it would be somewhat of a let-down, although arriving at the resort in the early evening the day before was magical. There were no screens on our windows and the air was so fresh and rich smelling, like the earth and cut grass. We fell asleep with the windows open letting the country air breeze across us as we slept, not conditioned air, no forced coolness, just the sounds of the night and pure air. Suddenly at 5 AM I awoke with a start. I could hear the birds chirping away, flying around and was suddenly aware that they could fly right into our room. In a panic I jumped out of bed ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena May 21st 2017

Geo: 43.3185, 11.3317Walked around on Saturday seeing the sights. Elena and Valerio headed off to their second home in Livorno and left their place to us.Full-day Tuscan trip on Sunday. First San Gimignano, then the village fort of Monterigginio and then Siena. Plus a stop at a Chianti vineyard on the way home, which wasn't until after 8pm.... read more
San Gimignano
Rolling Tuscan hills
Town well and more towers

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena April 10th 2017

Italy Day 7, Monday, October 10, Siena I am off to explore the town of Siena, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the best conserved town in all of Europe. This tour is optional with GCT and only a small portion of our group decided to go, many having been there before, my husband Dave decided to try to rest hoping his eye would heal. On the hour long bus ride to Siena we passed fields of harvested wheat, barley and farrow and a few grapes still clinging to the vines. Vibrant orange and red berries of pyracantha cascaded along walls. Hunters prowled the fields with their guns and dogs across the recently tilled red clay fields. The Val d' Orcia soil is clay-based but a lighter color clay than the red clay of the ... read more
Basilica Cateriniana di Santo Domenico, Siena, Italy
Painting of The Palio, Siena, Italy
Sanctuary and House of Saint Catherine, Siena, Italy

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena October 7th 2016

We had a few days off the bikes in Siena and the hill town of Volterra and had planned to complete our time in Tuscany with two grueling (and scenic) hilly days (3600 and 3200 feet of climbing, respectively) to the hill towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano. The bikes were cleaned, chains oiled, olts tightened up, and we were ready. Then, on Friday night, back in Siena Kathy twisted her knee, re-aggravating an old injury. Full range of motion was impossible, so much so that further biking and even travel of any kind was out of the question. So we shifted gears, changed plane reservations, cancelled B&B and hotel reservations, and figured out how to get ourselves and the bikes to Rome and home as soon as possible so that Kathy can see her doctor there. ... read more
The Piccolomini Library inside the Siena Duomo
View from the top of the Duomo Museum, Siena
Siena Duomo, with bell tower on the right

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena October 5th 2016

We arrived in Siena yesterday after two days of beautiful biking through the hills of the Chianti region south of Florence. Florence was crowded with tourists, and amazing. There's not much to say that hasn't been said, nor photographs to take that haven't been taken many thousand times. Still, I shot Michelangelo's David in the Academia with both the camera and smartphone from many angles, while most of the packed roomful of fellow tourists were doing the same. Then I started reading The Agony and the Ecstacy, which I hope to finish by the time we get to see the Pieta and Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome. It's how I process this peak experience, I guess. We saw most of Florence's key sites and museums, ate great food on both sides of the Arno, got great ... read more
Peak art experience, of many amazing ones, in Florence
Peak architectural experience, of many, in Florence
The only two extant telescopes used by Galileo, Galileo Museum of Science, Florence

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena July 5th 2016

As we told everybody before we left, there is not much time for travel blogs. But here we go again. From Parma we went to Siena. An amazing town and we were lucky. The Paleo was on that weekend. We were early at the hotel so enough time to walk to the city. Just two kilometres so not to bad. Only it was 36 degrees, that makes it a little harder. It was all the way up for the city is on top of a mountain, but the towns people were so clever to put in escalator's so the last bit was very nice. We went to the central place where the race is held, that was the next day. We walked around the city sight seeing for there was that much to see. We made ... read more

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