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.
Here are a few pics of Genoa.
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).
We had to have a typical Italian meal….pizza!
This delicious meal included artichokes & sausages & tomatoes & mushrooms, at least.
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.
Ristorante Carallino, one of Rick Steeves’ recommendation.
Two of our favorite meals once again:
Following pics are from our stay in Firenze, then Tuscany, including San Gimignano & Siena.
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.
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.