Monday, 11 July 2011

Final Tales from Tuscany, Sienna and the Medieval Pageant at San Gimignano

After my  interlude with my visit to Wimbledon and my little giveaway,  here are the last of my tales from Tuscany. For my final post I would love to share with you 2 visits, firstly to Sienna.

Sienna is a World Heritage site and famous for its Palio horse race which takes place in the historic Piazzo del Campo shown above. Our destination when we arrived there was  the famous clock tower, which only allows 30 people up at a time. On our visit in to Sienna in 2009 the queue was too vast to join so we decided this time to go first thing in the morning. Our plan paid off and when we arrived there were only about 20 people waiting at the entrance.

There were 400  stone steps ahead of us so all bags had to be left at the entrance in lockers and then after buying our tickets we were able to start the long climb.

As we climbed higher and higher there were small openings in the wall where we could start to see just how high we were going.

At the summit were the original bells, thankfully now silenced, I think we would have been deafened had they not been. It was quite windy here and there was a protective wall but over the edge the view was stunning........................

How great is that view down into the Piazzo del Campo?
Here are another 2 views.
You are only allowed at the summit for a limited time and then had to take the 400 steps back down. Boy did we know we had calf muscles at the end of that day, we certainly did our recommended daily dose of 10,000 steps!
After some lunch we visited the beautiful Cathedral. The building of this magnificent structure began in the c12 and it was completed by 1380 and in it's time was the largest cathedral in the world. Both the outside and inside of this cathedral are stunning.

Inside the Cathedral is also a library where the walls and ceiling are completed covered by more exquisite paintings.
The photo below is unbelievable the ceiling! Imagine how hard that would have been to paint.
We really enjoyed our day in this stunning ancient city.

Towards the end of our holiday we were lucky enough to find that San Gimignano was holding its annual Medieval Pageant. We made our way in early on the Sunday and took up our places to watch the parade. Many of the residents of the city dressed up in Medieval costume to act their parts out.

We were also treated to the spectacle of flag throwing..something I have never seen before.

It was a really great end to our holiday.I hope you enjoyed reading my tales from Tuscany. If you ever get the chance do try to visit...Italy is a great country and Tuscany is quite unique.

Coming up very soon I have another treat in store as my Hb and I are celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary in no less than the city of love....yes Paris and as a special treat we are travelling there on Eurostar. I have been to France via the shuttle (underground tunnel) when we took the car but  never by Eurostar. I visited St Pancras where the train starts when it first opened, even  the station is stunning. I will obviously take my trusty camera with me. Our seats are booked and our hotel room awaits...only 2 more weeks to go.

This week I am really lucky as I have taken some time off work to attend a 3 day precious metal clay course. Today we made a pendant and will be making a bead tomorrow. I will at some stage write a post and show my handiwork but in the meantime I will be back very soon with some more news about my alabaster beads...;0)

Bye for now,

Jane x


  1. Dear Jane, wow, thanks for sharing those fabulous photos of that beautiful historic city. I may never get there so it means a lot to me to see it from your eyes.

    I can't wait to see what you do with precious metal clay, I have a kit here waiting for me to try it too. They also have bronze and copper metal clays! :-)

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. That is a long way off the ground Jane, I don't have a head for heights, not sure I could do that!!
    I love visiting churches and cathedrals and that ceiling is so beautiful!
    Off again soon then and Paris no less, I'll be honest I'm getting itchy feet again too but no more trips for me until our 30th in Sept!
    Vivienne x

  3. Hi Jane,

    That was the most wonderful post! I loved the views (and the fact that I didn't need to climb, thanks dear) - you really had a magical holiday! And yet an another to come...Oh my! Paris suits you anniversary-lovebirds wonderfully, I am wishing you the greatest trip already. And Billy - he's not coming this time either? Even I'm sure he would love to :)

    Have a great week, Jane, and enjoy your course!


  4. I'm happy to share my visits Teresa :0) I am having a ball with the metal clay....I will be back with a post at some point. The bronze and copper clays are very tricky around firing so I am sticking with silver for the time being.
    Jane x

  5. Funnily enough Vivienne I do not like heights - but only when I am not closed in. I am fine within the confines of a high tower but not on the edge of a mountain!
    It's good to have another trip to look forward to isn't it!
    Jane x

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed my Tuscany tales Mia, it is such a lovely place.My legs did all that climbing with only a little complaining.
    Oh yes I am getting SO excited about Paris, our Billy will have to go on his holidays again as sadly I am not sure his French is good enough for him to come with us ;0)
    Enjoy your week my dear,
    Jane x

  7. Fabulous photographs Jane and I am sure you will be just as busy with your camera in beautiful Paris (Congratulations on your 30th too!)...
    Hope you have fun on your course sounds really fascinating!
    Susan x

  8. The last time I was in Paris Susan I was 15 and I didn't take any photos, I shall make up for it! The metal clay course is going really well, we made lentil hollow beads today.
    Jane x

  9. Jane, this was a gorgeous set of photos from your trip! I would love to see this beautiful cathedral (the colors!) first hand, but I'm so grateful to you for sharing the highlights. I think I'd get dizzy looking down from the clock tower, but commend you for making that climb! Looking forward to seeing you pmc creations next time! Have a great weekend! :o)

  10. It was an incredible place Michele.As an artist you would have been inspired. I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos.
    Have a great weekend,
    Jane x


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Jane x