Tuscany

Wow, the dates on this blog have gotten really screwed up!  We were actually in Tuscany on October 1st.  From Florence, we took a tour of four Tuscan towns and one divine stop for a wine tasting.

Our first stop was Siena.  We only had a short time here, so we pretty much confined ourselves to the Cathedral.  But it was a really incredible Cathedral.

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Street in Siena.

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Here’s the outside of the Cathedral.  There were little spiky things sticking out all over and when I zoomed in, I realized they were statues of sitting dogs, complete with leashes.

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Here’s the inside.  It was full of black and white marble.

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The floors were spectacular and they told stories.

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One of the side altars.

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This is where the lector reads the readings.  It was beautifully carved.

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The main altar.

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This was a very pleasant surprise for me.  I love illuminated manuscripts so finding a room dedicated to them was a real thrill.  To find them in such a beautiful room was pure pleasure.  The first pictures one of the many illuminated manuscripts.  The next picture is the ceiling in the room.  The colors were spectacular.  The last picture shows the wall of the room with a couple of the manuscripts on display below.  It was a stunning room.

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We stopped for a drink on the way out of town and this sign made me smile.  The Italians love sparkling water and this is the store owner’s way of saying this is the still water.

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Our next stop was Monteriggionni, a very ancient medieval city.  It was kind of famous historically and its been in many paintings.  It’s also near Voltura, made famous by the Twilight books.

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Some of the scenes from this very small town

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It’s a walled city and here’s what they look like from the outside.

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Our next stop was a wine tasting.  Now, those of you who know us know that we rarely drink.  This tasting included about 10 different wines.  Needless to say, it was a little overwhelming.

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Here we are before we had just a little too much to drink.  : )  Ironically, after tasting all that wine, what did we buy?  We got the truffled olive oil which was TO DIE FOR!  Of course, the wine may have influenced our opinion.  I’ll let you know when we get home and try it again.

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Our next stop was San Gimignano.  It’s also a medieval city, but it’s much larger and people actually live there today.  It was interesting to stroll around.  Luckily, the rain didn’t cause too many problems.

The first picture above is the entrance into the city through the city wall.  The second picture is a view of the street.

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Here’s the city square and the well.

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A view of the Tuscan hillside from the city walls.

Next stop:  Pisa!  What trip to Tuscany would be complete without a stop in Pisa?

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It’s still leaning.  Although there was an effort made in the last few years to shore up the ground around it to stop it’s slow topple.  To everyone’s surprise, the work actually made it straighten a little!

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The tower is actually the bell tower for this church.  We only had a short time and decided more food (after all that wine!) was more important than touring the church.

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