Italy 2010

Genoa was a port we’ve come to identify with Christopher Columbus.
Following pics are of a statue near the port, his home & a garden nearby.

Christopher Columbus Statue
Christopher Columbus Statue
Christopher Columbus' House
Casa di Cristofo Columbus

Here are a few pics of Genoa.

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3 styles of architecture.
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Typical church in Genoa.
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Typical medieval entrance into the city.

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Religious carving above a doorway.
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Store window.
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How about some fresh fish?

 An overnite in Lucca was next.

Lucca is well known as the birthplace of Puccini, often considered the most famous Italian opera composer.  He wrote 14 operas, most of which are performed today.  Lucca’s international festival (Puccini e la Sua Lucca) is supposedly the only permanent festival in the world, meaning that every night of the year, with no interruption, there is Puccini’s music waiting for you to be heard.

This event occurs in the church where he was baptized, where he played the organ as the Church Musician.  Listening to performance in a medieval church (Church of San Giovanni) is always memorable.  Here’s the website in case you’re planning a trip to Lucca (www.puccinielasualucca.com).

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Church of San Giovanni – Puccini Festival

We had to have a typical Italian meal….pizza!

Pizza in Lucca
One of our favorite meals while in Italy.

This delicious meal included artichokes & sausages & tomatoes & mushrooms, at least.

One of many entrances into the city of Lucca.
Charming entranceway into Lucca.

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Faded history on a city wall.
Faded painting.

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We stayed in a Sheraton Hotel close to a highway, close to Firenze, close to Tuscany.  We return to the same location because it is an excellent one.  Service is fantastic, we’ve come to know the staff, who are always professional & helpful.  And we’ll definitely return, especially since Firenze is one of our most favorite cities in Italy.

A visit to Firenze is never complete without a visit to Il Duomo, whether during the day or at night.  This is a setting for incredible architecture, outside & in, reflecting the spirituality, the religious fervor & the devotion to Catholicism that was present during the Medieval & Renaissance periods of time.  The square is called the Piazza of San giovanni, Cathedrl San Giovanni & Piazza del Duomo, which includes the Baptistery of San Giovanni, The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo), & several other historical sites (museum, rectory, palace, columns from Pisa, which are not pictured below).

A historical overview is not included here, but rather a pictorial experience.  We have been here many times & always are in awe of the architecture, the artistry, the craftsmanship, & the historical depiction of things religious.

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It’s always important to look up – everywhere!
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Detail panel from the story of life.
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Another detailed section.
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Outside door that shows two tones, old & new.
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Cleaned door! Imagine when it was originally installed!

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Florence 9-27-10 060Ristorante Carallino, one of Rick Steeves’ recommendation.

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We had to have home made gnocchi! Delizioso!
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Firenze building.
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Close to the restaurant.
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Outdoor artwork celebrating a coronation.
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Outdoor statuary in every piazza.
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Charming street performers everywhere.

Two of our favorite meals once again:

 

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Linguine with clams for Carlo.
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Pizza for Judy.

 

Following pics are from our stay in Firenze, then Tuscany, including San Gimignano & Siena.

 

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Store display in Centrale Mercado.

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Carl in one of the inside shops.

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Dried fruit for sale.
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Dried mushrooms for sale.
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Colorful pasta can be found everywhere.
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Cookies for sale.
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Pizza bread.
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We love fresh peppers!
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Try getting this hunk of cheese in your suitcase!
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Poster of cheese regions. We’ve been to all of them.
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Pasta w/ bolognese sauce, caprese salad.
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Typical area in San Gigminano.

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Medieval archways.
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More archways & scenic views.
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3 stles of architecture.

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Town center.
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Typical city area w/ towers.

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Definitely a place to buy meat!
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Cistern in the center of the town square.

 

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On the way to Siena.

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Tuscany hillsides are pleasant and beautiful to view no matter where we travel.

Siena is one of our favorites; we keep returning there to find new views amidst the incredible architecture and history there.

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On the way to Castellina In Chianti.
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Fresh boar’s meat at the weekly market.
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Always fresh cheese for sale.

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Home made pasta at Il Cantuccio; blackberry in use!
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On the way to Panzano.

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Rum Baba only in Panzano.

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Battle enactment.
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Poster announcing Medieval event in San Gigmignano.

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Entering the castle grounds.

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Medieval townsman.

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Judy & Carl.

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We love to attend wine festivals along the way.  Usually Vino al Vino in Panzano & this year a fabulous parade and wine in Impruneta.

A souvenir purse from Firenze is always a great way to remember our visit there.

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