Medieval Manhatten

Trip Start Sep 03, 2008
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Trip End Oct 19, 2008


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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Monday, September 22, 2008

We went on a bus tour today to explore more of Tuscany. First stop was Siena, just south of Florence. Siena is the rival city to Florence - very similar with an impressive Duomo, just smaller - population of only 54,000 but with 17 districts. Whilst it does not seem like a big place, it was certainly packed with people - mainly tourists. The Museo dell' Opera del Duomo was spectacular - from the impressive marble floor to the frescoes on the ceiling, particularly in Piccolomini's Bookshop. There was so much intricate detail to look at that it was hard to take it all in - absolutely breath taking. After a tour of the streets of Siena, the Duomo and the San Domonica Church, we had lunch in the Piazza del Campo. This is a famous square where the Palio - horse racing - takes place. We can't wait to see the next James Bond movie, as our tour guide told us that parts of it were filmed here!
After getting some pizza for lunch and then a gelato (I love Amarena flavour) we hopped back on the tour bus and headed off to San Gimignano, just northwest of Siena. We had read quite a bit about this place and were really looking forward to seeing it. Afterall, it is known as the 'Medieval Manhattan' with it's fourteen towers which have been standing for well over 400 years. We were not disappointed - we only wish that we had more time there as our tour was a bit of a whirlwind. It was enough time to walk a fair bit of this gorgeous hilltop town and take in the spectacular sights of the Tuscan countryside. We were a little surprised at how crowded it was with tourists - not even this small town is free from the rest of the world's curiosity (including ours!). It seems that no place in Italy has been untouched.
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