Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
13Trip End Oct 01, 2012
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Again to address the first important questions:
John: Becky read your email and responded through Laurie's email. Love to all.
Steph: mom is covered with mosquito bites not a rash (and so are the rest of us).
Don Varnell: regarding Serena, please let her know our cell number: 366-951-4298
Please send her an email and tell her we booked a train for 10:00am Monday Sept 10th which arrives at noon and then we will take the boat to the Rialto stop and arrive around 12:30 to 1:00pm and we will call her on our cell phone when we get to the Venice train station. You will be very proud of Karen as she has been walking for hours with no pain up and down hills and enjoying the wonderful Tuscan views
Bill, we have difficulty getting email through the internet (with the exception of Laurie's) so we won't be checking email. Hope it is cooler in England than here (at +35). Love you!!
Don Bolen - I know you are enjoying your family but just let me know you are well :) Laurie
Yesterday, we took a tour to Sienna an enchanting Medieval township that was built on 3 steep hills which we were constantly climbing up and down. In the center of town is the Piazza De Campo, a huge square built in the 12th century. On special days there is a horse race all around the square which 20,000 people attend and we are glad it wasn't the day we were there. There are no rules for this race and the first horse to cross the finish line wins with or without a jockey.
The Cathedral was magnifent and for all of us who are Catherdralled out this one was the best yet. The interior was Renaissance style with striped marble columns. The ceiling was painted as though 3 dimensional. There were sculptures by Michaelangelo and Bernini. The entire floor has inlaid marble pictures which is usually covered up except for September and October so we were very lucky to see it. Sienna claims St Catherine as its own saint
After Sienna we travelled to the picturesque Medieval town of San Gimignano. We had fun trying pronounce it and said "Jimmijano". It's high walls and narrow street are typicial of Tuscan towns. The view was to die for. It has 7 Medieval towers left from the original 70 which were built by the wealthy - the higher the tower the more wealthy the owner. They used to defend the town and provide a safe haven in times of seige - they would climb up and pour hot oil on the enemy. When black death (bubonic plague) devastated the population in 1348 this town's power faided and they came under the power of Florence.
There are lots of grape vines and olive trees around. Some of us bought some Italian olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and wine.
We arrived home weary and sore to a lovely dinner made by Karen of Chicken Cacciatore which was absolutely delicious.
Love and miss each and every one of you,
Dianne, Karen, Becky and little Laurie