13 November 2016

Travel:Italy-Siena and San Gimignano

Among all cities we have visited in Italy this autumn, Siena is the loveliest, in my opinion. I know, Florence is a jewel with lot of art and history, but energy and vibrations in Siena are special. This medieval city, in the central part of Tuscany, has captured my heart.
One of main attractions of the city is  the famous Palio, a horse race around the Piazza del Campo  two times every summer.(on 2 July and 16 August.). Even if you are not in town in that period, all stories and sights will start with Palio.
The city is divided in districts-neighborhoods-Contrade.
Seventeen Contrade compete in a passionate horse race in the Piazza del Campo. Each Contrada has its own emblem and colors.
Flags and emblems are displayed at the streets.
At the street corners emblems designate the entrance into a different Contrada.
Every contrada has its own fountain- baptismal font.
The bronze fountain, topped by an eagle, is one of those where local children were baptized – ''battesimo di Contrada''.
Piazza del Campo is heart and soul of the city.
The shell-shaped town square.
During the day, tourists come to sit an relax here.
The Palazzo Pubblico- town hall
The She-Wolf Suckling the Twins - the symbol of Siena.
Torre del Mangia- It is 87 meters high.
Directly opposite of the Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia is Fonte Gaia.
The Duomo- is a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque-Gothic.
The exterior and interiors of the cathedral are decorated in white and black marble.
The interior of the cathedral is impressive. You don't know where to look.

The marble mosaic floor of the cathedral.
The other major treasure in the cathedral  is the Piccolomini Library- Libreria Piccolomini
The Crypt - area under the Cathedral's choir.
The Baptistery of San Giovanni
Baptismal Font
The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

"Duomo Nuovo"- unbuilt cathedral- construction began in 1339  and was interrupted after the Black Death of 1348.
The new Duomo- Fa├žade
On the top of the wall is a great platform you can climb up to and enjoy a wonderful panoramic view.
Beautiful panorama of Tuscany.

                          San Gimignano

A halfway between Florence and Siena is a small medieval village San Gimignano.The village is  famous for its fascinating medieval architecture and towers.In the past there were  around 72 tower-houses built as symbols of wealth and power. Only 14 have survived. American tourists call it "medieval Manhattan."
This lovely village managed to preserve its medieval architecture despite the passing of the centuries.
Piazza Duomo
Best Gelato
Few hours in San Gimignano was not enough for proper tour, but we enjoyed in beautiful sunny day, bought some Pecorino cheese and Cantuccini biscuits and decided to come again. :)

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