I have been incredibly busy with community, church, and home “work”. I’ve had many things on my “to do” list and I have no idea what happened to January! Did anyone else feel that way? I kept trying to get here….but ran out of time.
Siena, Italy, is the capital of the region called Tuscany. The Province of Siena consists of 36 comuni (comunes), which we would call municipalities or townships.
Siena is not a large city, compared to Rome or Florence. However, the city’s population is 54,000. It remains a walled city since the 12th-15th centuries, when the first Gothic buildings and wall were built. The Cathedral of Siena was started in 1284 on the lower section, a stunning showpiece with its black and white striped interior and exterior marble walls.
I was able to get this particular shot of Siena’s Basilica, Bell Tower and Duomo, as I was standing on top of the wall of the first cathedral, which was never finished, The first cathedral was intended to be the largest in the world. Then the plague hit Siena, cutting their population nearly in half. With fewer people, they could no longer support a cathedral that large, and they began to build the smaller present cathedral. ( Although we think it’s still very large!) The original nave with arched door, 3 walls and stone floor still remain. The wall above the nave is available as a viewpoint for looking at the rest of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Hi everyone! Today’s weekly photo challenge is “Foreign”. One of the dictionary’s definitions is: unfamiliar or strange. That just about describes my post perfectly. As you know, we returned from beautiful Italy ten days ago, and we had a wonderful time. I must say…every Italian we met was extremely helpful and kind, they did not make us feel foreign.
We rented a car to drive the autostrada through Tuscany….from Florence to Rome, with visits in San Gimignano, Siena and Assisi along the way. This was where we had a deep feeling of being foreign! We were definitely in unfamiliar territory with some strange highway signs. But we had no trouble arriving at each of our destinations.
The Italians, like other countries, are making more universal signs, appealing to visitors and natives alike. However, when traveling 70-80 km in the rain….the signs seem to appear out of nowhere and fly past you in a nano-second! The signs also have many towns listed with arrows going in opposite directions! The conversation in our car: “Did you see Assisi on that sign?” “No, did you?”
I started taking photos of the signs so I could refer to it after we’d passed them by! I apologize for blurriness…as the rain and speed didn’t help! I love to take photos of road signs in other countries, anyway…here’s my example of FOREIGN. Enjoy!
We start out easy. Lots of towns listed here. All are going in the same direction. Universal signs at the bottom. Piece of cake.
A little trickier. At first sight it can confuse you. Some universal signage combined with foreign words. Tutte means “ALL”, so everyone needs to veer in the left direction for Parking. It’s not good to go straight. 😉
EEEEK! I couldn’t get my camera to snap fast enough! Some universal signage and several towns…but going in different directions. If you were driving in the rain..as we were…this was definitely a whopper! I still can’t figure out the middle two triangles…but we made it to Assisi just fine! We saw beautiful countryside all along the way…even in the rain!
I recommend the drive to anyone. (but avoid the cities!) 😉
In English, “Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore” translates to “Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower”. It is a stunning example of Gothic design, which was started in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio. Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore … Continue reading →
Florence is a beautiful city, busy, bustling and full of people, walking, riding bikes, Vespas, motorcycles and driving cars. The Arno River runs through the city and under several bridges that were built in the 1200-1300”s. Only the Ponte Vecchio … Continue reading →
If you guessed Italy, you’re right! We traveled there for two weeks and had a fabulous time. We had beautiful weather in the 70s-80s F. The only time it rained was on travel days!
“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.”
Our first stop was Florence, with a great hotel on the Arno River. I spent a lot of time taking photos from the room’s window! After four days in Florence our plan was to travel through Tuscany and finish in Rome. Our stops included: San Gimignano, Siena, Assisi and Rome. San Gimignano was just a half-day trip on the way to Siena. My husband offered to drive through Tuscany and drop the car at the Rome airport. Our plan was to avoid driving in any major cities! Barring a few wrong turns, we succeeded!
Since we got home very late Monday night…I’m just now starting to edit photos.
I’ll post as soon as I can, beginning with Florence! Here’s one to start~
The photo was taken in front of our hotel, looking west down the Arno River. You’ll see the Ponte Alle Grazie bridge. This was the second bridge built over the Arno, the first being the famous Ponte Vecchio. Ponte Alle Grazie bridge was first built in 1237 and over the years had a home for nuns; then shops and homes, as the Ponte Vecchio does now. A fierce flood destroyed the bridge and it was rebuilt. During WWll it was destroyed by bombs. It was rebuilt in 1957 and remains unchanged.
Looking west along the Arno River. The Ponte Alle Grazie bridge can be seen in the photo.
Don’t change this channel! Stay tuned for more updates from Italy!
Thanks for hanging in there while I was away….I appreciate my blogger friends!
I am truly happy tonight! Some very special ten year old digital photos were able to be saved from loss and I now have them in this computer.
In 2002 I went to Italy with a brand new, credit-card sized Minolta DiMage Z digital camera. I also took my old Nikon film camera.
In those days we had a PC computer, that died a horrible death….the hard drive blew up or something. My photos were still in the PC computer but the question was: How do we get them out and into my Mac/iPhoto? Well, the problem has been solved and my photos are safely in my Mac. I feel as if I’ve been reunited with some old friends!
Now that I’m working with the photos, I noticed that the pixel size is 800 max. Digital cameras have changed so much in ten years! I plan to show some photos in the future, but I have one to share tonight.
I took this photo in Florence. We were in the process of climbing the 600 steps to the top of the Duomo of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. “Basilica of Saint Mary the Flower” (the cathedral of Florence). Along the stairway are a few windows, and I shot a couple photos through those windows.
I really like this photo because it captures part of the city and the countryside too.