Blogs from Siena, Tuscany, Italy, Europe - page 3


Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena October 23rd 2015

Geo: 43.3187, 11.3305Today was Siena. A rather nice town, certainly better than San Gimignano but no Florence. Much bigger than we expected, yet again not close to Florence. New information for us Siena was a bitter rival and equal of Florence for 400 years, and defeated them in at least two major battles. Eventually Siena succumbed, thus it is a bit of a time warp for us today. Bad for them, good for us.We know this will profoundly surprise all of you, but the primary attractions here, this being a medieval town, are churches. We have seen better and worse. Bird is a bit more impressed with the churches than HP (suppose he is upset there was nothing Roman in town). Everything here was medieval. Even after the Renaissance, they continued to paint two dimensional in ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena September 14th 2015

Day 9 OPA – Opera Della Metropolitana (Google It) It seems Kirsten and I just can’t get up. Again we slept in; it was after 10:30 am before we pulled out of Gaiole. Yea, what can I say….. As always Kirsten prepared a great breakfast, and pulled our picnic together. So today we decided to go and see castles. Well we were down the road and it starts raining. Kirsten makes the executive decision, because she’s the EXECUTIVE to go to Siena. I say I thought that was Thursday, she responded “Are you Questioning my Authority” Uh! No. So I reroute us to Siena, in the rain. Ok, Siena is like Florence BIG! We’ve only been once before and we find a parking space pretty easy. Now Siena is on a hill BIG HILL and the ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena August 27th 2015

The Siena city was important in history as a commercial and banking city until surpassed by Florence in the 13th–14th century. with moral depression following the Black Death and the economic decline, building activity was largely suspended in the 16th century, and because most modern building has taken place outside the city walls, Siena remains essentially a medieval town. With an overall prosperity that enabled them to embellish their city with beautiful churches, palaces, towers, and fountains. Fortunate Siena escape the damage during World War II, so we could still appreciated the beautiful from their golden age. The best of the best must the shell-shape Piazza del Campo with the quadrangular form fountain - Fonte Gaia, and on one side walled with the Palazzo Pubblico, first build in 1297. right beside is the Torre del Mangia. ... read more
Torre del Mangia & Palazzo Pubblico
Piazza del Campo

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena July 24th 2015

The breakfast room in the hotel is very quiet and everyone seems to be afraid to speak. I get into trouble from Issy for clanging my spoon against the rim of my cereal bowl too loudly. (I also get into trouble for this at home where it's not quiet.) One of the hotel staff puts on some music and this seems to break the tension. This morning we've booked a private half day walking tour of the town of Siena which is about a 45 minute drive from San Gimignano. Our GPS appears to have mastered the art of sending us the wrong way and then telling us to "turn around at the earliest opportunity". It then sends us into an industrial estate after telling us to take the first exit at a roundabout; apparently roads ... read more
Basilica of San Domenica, Siena
Statues, Siena
Siena Cathedral

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena April 25th 2015

Today, map in hand, we drove to Siena, one of the larger hill towns in southern Tuscany. We arrived to find that Siena was hosting a classic car rally. Restored cars raced around the streets outside of the huge brick wall that encircles the historic city center. After watching the cars a bit, we entered one of the big gates to the historic city center. We walked the narrow winding streets of Siena until we came upon the Pizza de Campo, the location of the world famous “Palio.” The Palio is an absolutely insane horse race held in the Piazza twice a year. We urge you to watch one of the many YouTube videos of the Palio. We had some beer and wine in the Piazza de Campo and then made our way to the Duomo ... read more
Drinks in Piazza de Campo
Piazza de Campo
In Siena

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena January 10th 2015

Old 12th Century medieval town in Tuscany jam packed with Roman/Sienese Gothic architecture and baroque statues and marble...lots and lots of marble. The palaces and churches (an awful lot of churches, 9 we counted) have been perfectly preserved like nowhere else in Italy. It is like walking around in a time capsule. This is the town where you can walk into a church and stay for more than an hour, neck creaking from the constant upward open-mouthed stares. The art commissioned by the wealthy Catholic Church during the Middle Age is truly spectacular and can take your breath away. The Church is still very much on show with many priests and priests and nuns in training wandering around. The Cathedral (also called the Duomo like in Florence) is the most spectacular church any of us have ... read more
Siena street
Best pizza
The Duomo

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena October 11th 2014

Geo: 43.3187, 11.3305 This was the second day that we spent touring with Alessandro Cammilli. He picked us up smack on time at 9.30am and we headed straight to San Gimignano. This was a gorgeous little town, although it didn't feel like a real place, more like a theme park town, such as Sovereign Hill here in Australia. There didn't seem to be any real shops for people to buy groceries etc, only touristy type shops. Still, as said it was gorgeous and we paid to climb up the tallest tower, Torre Grossa, for the sensational views. Next stop was Siena, another lovely place, much larger than San Gimignano. Ale explained about the 17 contrades that compete in the Palio and showed us how each area of Siena has different signs according to its contrade – ... read more
Piazza del Campo in Siena
Duomo of Siena
Long Shared Table at Dario the Butcher in Panzano

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena October 5th 2014

Train trip to Zurich was good, and uneventful. It is a good way to see the countryside and after seeing some of the scenery today, I am sooooo pleased I decided not to drive. It was easy to get around Zurich the trams are fantastic. My hotel, the Adler was right in the heart of the old town and made my sightseeing very easy. There is a famous walk around the city, which I did. First, I left the hotel and back to the Bahnhof (train station) then walked the length of Bahnhofstrasse which has every shop known to man (and the most expensive!) down to the Muenster hof via a bar called “Jules Verne” which is on top of a circular building in the town, the up to the Lindenhof a beautiful park of Linden ... read more
view of Zurich from Jules Verne Bar
Linden park
try to imagine how steep

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena June 10th 2014

Florence was a feast for the senses, a treasure trove of delights with small alley ways, cascades of rich red geraniums hanging from balconies, colourful markets, Tuscan Gothic churches and museums full of paintings and sculptures from antiquity. Michelango's David is there, so are paintings by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, and the Great Masters. This place hits your senses visually. A walk down any road, or Via, really a lane way, brings you Medieval doorways, arches, cobblestone paving and lastly cars that shouldn't be there. Our apartment was in Via Dei Pepi, just metres from Santa Croce. The position was great and it was interesting how an unimposing exterior can reveal a cosy and contemporary interior. We had a great set up with a modern kitchen and bathroom and all the basics provided. Shopping was ... read more
Piazza dell Signoria
Lunch at the Uffizi Museum

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena December 28th 2013

I love basking under winter sun. It’s like hanging out under bright sun but with air conditioner. Very different experience vs trying to sunbathe in tropical climate – you’ll swim in your own sweat. I’m in Siena now – and loving it more than I thought I would. Siena is sooo pretty with its medieval charm. It’s so small that you can just walk everywhere. People lounging at the shell-shaped-slanted Piazza del Duomo as at the beach but the main attraction here is not the sea, rather the Palazzo Pubblico – Siena’s city hall for over 800 years. If you happened to come in the summer, the famous horse race Il Palio is held here twice a year. Of course, do not miss the Siena Duomo. People said it’s the prettiest cathedral in Italy. Well, perhaps ... read more
me in siena
sun worshippers

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