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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Toscana, Italy

Jul 27, 2018 - Siena

Siena Arrived in Siena on the 22nd by bus as there was a train strike in Firenze.. but at least we made it without any hassles !! Siena is incredibly beautiful, we are really enjoying being here, the tight streets and walls that enclose the main area of Siena are filled with history and bustling with atmosphere, every corner you turn has s historic church Duomo or fountain, the piazza del campo is really large and very impressive it would have been amazing to be here for the horse race!! then you walk to the top on the hill on the slight...

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Europe Holiday 2018

Jul 26, 2018 - Day 11 Michelangelo

Academy of Fine Arts has a wonderful collection of Michelangelo sculptures including his most famous one David. The statue was commissioned for the tower of the church but the Pope disapproved of the naked David so he was put inthe town square. Because of the damage caused my weather, pollution and the pidgeons, the original David was moved into the museum and a replica was placed in the square. There were 4 unfinished statues started by Michelangelo. He died before they were completed. The museum named them the Prisoners because they look...

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Our Travels 18

Jul 25, 2018 - Day 10 Pisa

On are way to Florence, we stopped at Pisa. The old walled city was much smaller I thought it would be considering it was such a powerful city-state in the 13th and 14th centuries. But the leaning tower did not disappoint. We ate lunch next to the tower. That’s something I never thought I would do.

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Our Travels 18

Jul 25, 2018 - Day 11 Florence

When Florence was a city-state, it was run by the Medici Family. They very rich and very powerful because they were the bankers for the Vatican during the Renaissance. Their palace is in the town square. Many of the buildings in the town square still had their decorations. The buildings were made of brick then covered with plaster and painted. The richer you were the more elaborate the paintings on the front of your home. From there, we walked down a narrow street to the Ponte Vecchio. That bridge has been used for the last 4 centuries.

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Our Travels 18

Jul 22, 2018 - Firenze

We arrived in Firenze on the 17th and took a taxi to Duccio’s home where we have the downs stairs appartment for 5 days, it didn’t take long to get there, when we opened the gate we realised it was a large Neo liberty style home!! Incredibly quirky !!! Once unpacked we worked out how to get to the coop and grabbed a few necessities. You know the usual!! Champagne 񅃲 񏍾.... etc had a relaxing night out in the garden.. but got eaten alive by the bloody mozzies!! Any way it was lovely.. we spent the next day doing our washing and relaxing.....

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Europe Holiday 2018

Jun 2, 2018 - Castles and Chianti

Saturday 2nd June: An afternoon in Chianti. This morning was very leisurely as we had booked a tour “Castles and Chianti” for the afternoon. We were picked up by Daniel from the hotel at 2pm and, after collecting another six people, set of for the castle. This was Montiriggione, high up on a hill not far out of Siena. We were given half an hour to wander around and appreciate the view and the old citadel. As it was a public holiday, there were many people out enjoying the same and the lovely weather. Then we drove through the very...

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Jun 1, 2018 - Siena

Friday 1st June: Another day in Siena. This time we planned to get up earlier and beat the crowds to the Duomo, etc. It was lovely walking through Siena with few people about but the plans went awry when we found that nothing opened before 10am. So we filled in time wandering and then headed for the museum which contained many of the original artefacts taken from the Duomo. This was also the entry to the Panorama del Facciatone, the abandoned nave of the extension to the cathedral that was never completed. It is accessed by a tiny entrance...

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May 30, 2018 - Pisa

Wednesday 30th May: A day in Pisa. On previous trips we had avoided Pisa but this time we decided to go for the day. We walked to the train station about 1km away. The regional trains are fast and, with a quick change in Empoli, we arrived in Pisa about 11.00am and walked up through town to The Field of Miracles stopping for a coffee on the way. It was a grey day with rain expected but that did not deter the crowds and the white and pale grey marble of the Cathedral, Tower, Baptistery and Camposanto stood out magnificently in their sea of...

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May 29, 2018 - Siena

Tuesday 29th May: Part of our package included a walking tour of Siena and we booked it for late this morning. The hotel is about 3km out of the city but the bus stops at the door in both directions so it was not hard to reach the city. The bus trips were fast and furious as the Sienese bus drivers seem to run to a very tight schedule. We found our way to the side of the Campo where we were to meet the guide and as we had time we booked a tour called Chianti and Castles for Saturday afternoon. A number of other people joined the walking...

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May 28, 2018 - Siena

Monday 28th May: A day of traveling: Time now to move from Sorrento to Siena. We had booked our tickets on the train for 10.15am so did not have to rush. Donatella came in to see us off after breakfast and we said goodbye to her and Daniella who had looked after us very well. We were fortunate in having the B&B totally to ourselves for three nights and scarcely saw the other guests on the other two nights. The time in Sorrento was very pleasant and relaxing (apart from the day trips away!). After the short walk back to the station, this...

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May 11, 2018 - Siena and my Italian school

Just at the end of the first of two weeks at language school, here in Siena. I am in a very personalised class, with only 1 other student! This week, there were only 20 students in total at the school, spread over 5 different levels. I was placed in the most advanced class currently being taught (the more advanced classes that are theoretically available are for university students or for students where Italian is effectively their mother tongue, but there were no such students at the school now). So, I’m obviously making good progress...

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May 4, 2018 - Exploring the towns of Lucca and Arezzo

During my one week stay in Florence, I have so far made two day trips by train: the first to Lucca, a walled city in western Tuscany near Pisa, and the second to Arezzo, an ancient Etruscan (before the Romans) city in western Tuscany. The photos probably make Lucca seem more appealing (the one day with blue skies in an otherwise rainy week), but I was totally enchanted by the brooding, medieval atmosphere of Arezzo. Unlike many Tuscan hilltop towns, Lucca is completely flat and surrounded by an elevated 4km city wall. Many visitors walk or...

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