Scenes of Italy

Monday October 12, 1998


grapevine photo 

Near San Gimignano is the area Chianti, the wine in the long bottles with the straw wrapped bottles. When I think of Italy and Villas, I think of these wonderful areas of Tuscany. 

San Gimignano is a well-preserved medieval town. 

   San Gen Photo

This building was at the top of the hill behind the stores of San Gimignano. From here you got a wonderful view of the entire region. There were several artists up on the hill painting scenery. Fortunately for us there were American artists we could talk to about the area. One of the American artists has been living in San Gimignano for seven years. She is originally from Manhattan Beach, California, a mere five miles away from where I live in Los Angeles. Small world.

vineyards photo

Grapevines and grapes wherever you look. They say Tuscany is the most beautiful of all of Italy. I must agree The feeling of peace and freedom of space is everywhere. So very different than the busy crowded city of Rome. These two photos were taken on the way to San Gimignano the city of many towers. You will also find the famous olive oil in this region.

With a population of 60,000 it is even bigger than Paris. The town was weakened by a disastrous plague in 1348.

Most of the non-vehicle streets are filled with students from a local university.

tower photo

One of 15 towers left of the 72 that originally made San Gimignano famous. It is a beautiful city with the entire town of the made of the wonderful bricks you see in these photographs.

Siena photo 

Siena built on three hills, is the only surviving example of a medieval city. The buildings are all red. If you are there at sunrise you are in for a beautiful experience. The buildings appear to glow red as the sunrises.

Here twice a year, July 2 and August 16, they recreate the feeling of a medieval city with a horse race in the square. It is a colorful race with each contrade's colors being worn by the ten of the seventeen contrades chosen to take part in the race. The jockeys ride bareback during the three lap race. The race takes less than an hour but the celebrations can last several days.

The victory celebrations are concluded with a great banquet: tables are set up in the main street and thousands of people sit down to eat.

Wishing Well Photo

A wishing well within a private courtyard in Siena. This courtyard is just outside the famous Piazza del Campo.

cats on a church photo

Notice the cats seeming to jump off the top of the church way up at the top. There are many statues, Gargoyles and people just hanging off this church. I was really fascinated at everything on the outside of the church. These people worked really hard up there getting all this Gothic work integrated into the Christian religion.

three graces photo

These ladies are in the brilliantly frescoed the works of a pope from 500 years ago and also St. Catherine whose head is enshrined in another church in the city. The walls contain music scores of St. John the Baptist. The statue is a Roman copy of three Greek graces.


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