Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 4 of 19 ...San Gimignano and Siena

The weather here is very hot, probably the same as back home in Denver averaging 94 today. I'm not too worried about how I'm looking as it is so hot and my makeup and hair are drenched, but it's better than being here in a colder climate or even rainy season.

Some of the cats and kittens who live at the Villa ... Brandon & Evan you would have loved to play with them here for hours.

This couple was from the Netherlands ... so much fun to talk to. That is what I love about Bed and's like you are at a friends house and all their friends are visiting from around the world.

Our first stop was ...

San Gimignano - San Gimignano is a charming hill town of 7000 inhabitants, which has preserved its medieval appearance more completely than any other town in Tuscany. Its history begins around the Tenth Century.

The town is famous for its numerous towers which make it conspicuous from a great distance and provide one of the most remarkable sights in Italy. It is possible to walk along the 13 Century walls from which there are fine views of the rich agricultural farm land which surrounds the town.

It developed considerably during the middle ages thanks to to the via Francigena which runs through the town, and there was a remarkable flowering of works of art, adorning churches, palaces and monasteries.

When in 1199 the town became a free commune, ridding itself of the Feudal ties to the bishop of Volterra, it began its impressive growth as an urban centre.

The terrible palgue of 1348 and a subsequent fall in population dealt a severe blow to the trading economy of San Gimignano. The deep crisisi led the governors of the city to declare their submission to florence in 1353.

Where is San Gimignano: is located in the north of Siena province, in the border with the province of Florence and Pisa. See the map

I've never seen my motorcycle anywhere before ... until now. However, I just sold it last week to help pay for this years expenses. We still have David's bike, which is now the both of ours.

I love the vines growing up the side of this building

Many times I'd see people just looking outside their window. It is so cute ... I think I need to just look out my window more. My neighbor says she sees me doing that sometimes and thinks I'm staring at her ... kinda creepy, huh! I had to tell her I was using the sunlight thru the window to pluck my eyebrows.

Lunch in the Piazza ... I longed for this back home. Now we've done it!

Yes, there are these small cars everywhere speeding past you just inches from hitting you. There are scooters and motorcycles everywhere. Space is limited here, so scooters helps with gas, parking (free) and getting around very easily and quickly.

Views like this EVERYWHERE

I wish I could have brought some of these big pots home.

Ohhhh, lovers in Italy. How lovely!

Our second stop was Siena.

Tuscany is the heart of Italy and Siena is the heart of Tuscany.

Few areas in the world can boast the variety of landscape and economy distinguishing the territory of Siena, where every town, village or hamlet contains art treasures and historical evidence of priceless value.

It begins in the north with the incomparable scenic beauty of the Chianti lands, with their patchwork of wines and olive trees standing out in orderly rows against the hills tamed by the farmers' skill.

Piazza Del Campo, Siena

My handsome husband

Piazza Del Campo

pigeon sipping water from the fountain

Having a gelati and capuccino in the Piazza

We finally ate spaghetti ... it was really good. David and I agreed that we like his spaghetti sauce better though. I guess it's what we're use to, but his sauce is pretty good. I've had my share of cappuccinos, but have not had a glass of wine yet other than the initial welcome glass here at the villa. Perhaps tomorrow night in Positano!

The view from our hotel we'll be at tomorrow.

Tomorrow we leave here at 8:30am to trek down South past Rome, near Naples to a little town called Positano. It has a tiny beach front, but seems to more laid back for us to take it easy before heading to Rome for 2 days, then Ethiopia ... the icing on this cake!! It'll take a little over 5 hours to get there, but there will be air condition there. This Villa we're staying at is of course so old that it has no air-con, so at night I'm sweating while I sleep. Oh we just love our modern conveniences, don't we! Positano is a small town on the Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana), in Campania, Italy. The main part of the city sits in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast. Apparently there are over 300 steps to get to and from this place, so a bit more exercise for me! Today we walked for miles and miles. I am so tired...

Nitey Nite ... in 6 days we meet her! I wonder if she understands?


Lory Howlett said...

We only recently returned home from Italy...but still, I admit, I'm a bit jealous! (smile)

Lisa and David said...

Yes, it is lovely isn't it? I'll sips some wine ...just for you! ;)

Stephanie said...

So great to follow along on your exciting and beautiful journey! The best is yet to come!