Thursday, January 6, 2011

Siena to Pisa to Florence

We stayed the night in Siena (a city in Tuscany, Italy). Snow covered walkway, an awesome sight for someone who comes from a country with sun the whole year round. I took a slow walk along the pathway to our breakfast venue.Picture above showed the enchanting ceiling of the hotel we stayed. The hotel is old but very attractive. After dinner, the night before two gentle and sweet women answered some questions I had about some really hard biscuits. I saw these hard biscuits (picture above) in many convenience stores our bus stopped. I was wondering how the Italians eat them as for me; I would have to break a tooth or two taking a bite into them. They are called cantuccini and are not eaten dry was what the two sweet women told me. They are dunk into a sweet wine, Italians call Vin Santo (the wine of Saints) which is a specialty of the Italian wine culture and many provinces produce their own version of this delectable libation. Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia are best-known and reputed vin santo producing provinces. House of Saint Catherine in the picture above. She lived in this house until her death. Saint Catherine was born Caterina Benincasa to Giacomo and Lapa Piagenti. Wikipedia has a very interesting write up on Saint Catherine, Italy's patron saint and the first woman doctor of the Church.

UNESCO a world heritage site has declared Siena located in Tuscany, a historic centre. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions. The gargantuan brick church of San Domenico where Saint Catherine's shrivelled head and thumb are kept as relics in the chapel.
We had roast turkey with salad. After eating the turkey, I could not help having this thought, I think Italians love salt.
The Cathedral of Siena Campo Square (Piazza del Campo) of Siena where the movies Quantum of Solace and New Moon was filmed. Twice a year a horse race, run in this Italian city of Siena. The race is run in July and in August and takes place in the central Piazza del Campo. The prize is the Palio, a long banner typically depicting the Madonna bestowing her heavenly blessing upon the city and the contrade. An important Italian creates a new banner for each competition. After the beautiful city of Siena, we headed for the city of Pisa, in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Ligurian Sea.The Cathedral of Pisa, Baptistery and Leaning Tower. I thought I would be awed by the leaning tower after reading and hearing so much about it. I was not and I was surprised. We wanted to enter and climb up the tower but tickets were all sold for that day.It is only around 5pm but the sky turned so dark. After Pisa, we headed for Florence where we stayed the night.:o)
**Day 5


Shropshire lad and Suffolk lass said...

Pleased you had some snow! said...

Hi K, I was feeling...ecstatic would best describe my feeling. I love snow. TQ 4 dropping by. Hope u r well n hearty. Happy New Year and best regards.:o)