Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Italy: Siena

Good Evening or Morning!

Well, I've been trying to get my blog posts ready on the bus each day.  I went to paste yesterday's post tonight and selected all to copy and it didn't come with me.  Lost forever.  That's so frustrating right....

That's OK... I will start again....

We drove up to Siena which is about due (two) hours away.  We walked around the ancient red-brown walls into the city.  We met up with our tour guide and donned "whispers."  A little machine you place around your neck with an earpiece.  as the guide talks you can here what she says.

We walked into the Church of Santa Dominico.  Not a grand church with all the ornament, but a simple church that had the most beautiful 13 century frescos on the ceiling.  One thing that stand out clearly is the chapel of St. Catherine.  We walked over to view her remains...St. Catherine's skull and finger.  The skull is encased in a glass cabinet surrounded by beautiful painting.  It's a bit eerie, but I totally get the whole relic thing.

Next, was into the baptistery with all it's beautiful frescos.  Fantastico...Actually, the wood paneling in this room was outstanding.  We had a brief spin into the gift shop and proceeded outside again to meet the tour guide.  A look around from the steps of the church you see people everywhere from everywhere.  towers and mysterious lanes abound.  Simple beautiful and this total sense of old beauty, if you will.

We continued down the snaked streets to the Piazza Del Campo .  You guys, this is an amazing site to behold.  You are completely encircle by amazing architecture.  It seems like all the buildings are up higher on the hill and the middle of the piazza is down almost in a conical form.  Can't explain.  It is overwhelming to see.

Well, it was free time.  We found a paper store that was the size of an elevator.  However, we paper crafters were on a feeding frenzy and it didn't matter. Somehow we all fit into the shop and started buying up the place...hoards of hand marbled papers, block prints, glass calligraphy pens and seals with wax.   An amazing store.  Next, it was on to other shops that had wonderful prints, shops with ceramics, shops with puppets and so on.  Whatever your heart desires, Siena has it...

Then came lunch at Cafe Nannini.   I had the most amazing calzone that was chock full of ham, mushrooms and cheese.  It was the size of the spare tire I affectionately call my waist.  Huge!  So delicioso!  I actually had a Coke.  Hadn't had one of those for months.  Ohhhh it tasted even better in Siena on the Piazza...lucious! LOL!

After lunch, we met at the fountain and walked back to the bus.  And what a walk it was after the massive calzone lunch.  I kept saying to myself, this hill is going to take the calories from two mushrooms away...I hoped anyway.  We loaded the bus and found ourselves napping back to Montecatini Terme.. I was was spent.

We changed clothes and went to the dining room as a group for dinner.  It was delcious as all food here in Italy is.  Next up, was Tim's class and I really really had a blast learning to use the water brush and the markers for a watercolor effect on watercolor paper.  After class we gathered to work on our Tuscany Travel Journals in the lounge.  It's so fun to be with like minded crafters...everyone so kind and sharing Things Found during the days journey.

Then it was off to bed for an 7 a.m. Wake up call for the Fattoria il Poggio...

Pictures can be found on my Facebook page...

Have a wonderful night...

jim

13 comments:

  1. Wow ... trip of a life time... such great company, beautiful sights, great food, awesome classes...my, my,my!!

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  2. I expect that there wasn't much left in that paper shop by the time that you'd all finished! Glad you are having such a good time.

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  3. Wow... was there a paper store left when y'all got done? It is so awesome to hear of your days adventure! One thing that seems to repeat often is FOOD! I hope you are getting enough to eat! bwahahahaha!!! Hugs!!! I hope you sleep well and don't get up late!!!!

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  4. I'm loving all of the updates on Facebook... Thank you for bringing us along...

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  5. I'm loving all of the updates on Facebook... Thank you for bringing us along...

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  6. Sienna is an awesome city. left some money behind there. I remember delicious pizza at an outdoor terrace inn the piazza too. When I got home, our contractor was finishing or kitchen. Turns out that on his trip to Sienna he managed to drive his rental car right through the pedestrian- only piazza - a wrong turn. I thought it was a great way to avoid walking up the steep streets there. The atmosphere and age there made me feel that Sienna was the perfect place for intrigue, especially the warring noble families that lived there. Be sure to bring home some ceramics. It's so worth the hassle. I enjoy my pieces from Deruta daily.
    Another great day tomorrow and enjoy the food. You can burn calories when you're back home.
    Hugs
    Mo(Mori49)

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  7. Your trip sounds like ours to Japan a few years ago. Eat, ride in some mode of transportation somewhere, tour for a bit, eat, ride back to home base, eat, sleep and do it all again tomorrow. I was still full from breakfast when it was time to eat dinner!! But oh the food! And it sounds like you are having a glorious time!

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  8. You are so lucky to experience such an awesome trip!!! And we're lucky to hear about it!! Oh how I would have loved to see the paper store!! Sounds like a fabulous time!!! And eating is the name of the game on vacation!!!!!!
    Hugs,
    Teri

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  9. That paper shop probably did it's best days trade for years!!! The architecture and street scapes are amazing! I am thoroughly enjoying our journey through Tuscany on your coat tales . . . THANK YOU :)

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  10. Soooo, glad you're having a blast! Over to facebook to check it out. Hugz, Z

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  11. Siena is such a fabulous city. Can you imagine the thrill of the horse races around the piazza? That would be cool to see. Eat all that you can especially the gelato...it's just not the same in the States.

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