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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Siena, Toscana, Italy

Jun 27, 2006 - At the Jolly Hotel in Siena

Well, today was welcome day for all the EAP students. Interesting group of "young" students. They are ready to party. I, on the other hand, am ready to explore. I stayed at the Jolly Hotel--very nice! Had a magnificent breakfast in a beautifully styled restaurant. Italians are full of style. The crowd was mostly elderly Americans. I was, or a change the youngest in the crowd, with the exception of the waitresses. Siena is a beautiful city and I am just beginning to explore it. Ciao for now, Maria

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Jun 12, 2006 - Siena - June 10-12

Siena - June 10-12 All in all - not a bad bus ride. Thought it would be much worse. We got to Siena around 6:30p. Siena is a medieval town - walled and made all of stone including the streets - cobbles all round. Everything is centered around this one half-moon shaped piazza - Piazza del Campo. There are loads of tiny streets radiating from the square. We stayed at the Piccolo Hotel - on one of the side streets. So, from the bus stations the hotel is about a 15 min walk - give or take depending on your maneuverability with pack and around...

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Jerretta's Journey

May 24, 2006 - "Under the Tuscan Sun" (photography workshop)

Ciao!! I hope everyone is doing well!! I just completed the photography workshop (aptly named, "Under the Tuscan Sun") with photographer, Elizabeth Opalenik (http://www.opalenik.com) from San Francisco. I have to say this experience was incredible!!! For the past week, 12 of us stayed at the Il Paradiso vineyard (http://www.alparadisodifrassina.it/home.php) (owners are friends of Elizabeth) and toured around the Tuscan landscape and small villages with our cameras, trying to capture the perfect images. This may sound romantic, but it was...

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May 22, 2006 - Siena

Today we headed into Siena to have a look around and to source an internet café to update our blog and sort emails etc. We walked through a beautiful old church in Siena, it is a really pretty city. All in all the computer updating took a good couple of hours; so while Mark was doing that I took the kids for a walk and came back with a great pair of jeans and the kids got a crepe each filled with chocolate. Yummy!! They were in heaven!! Our plan today was to find our next port of call as well, but it's all too hard when you are on holiday....

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May 20, 2006 - Tuscany Week 3 - Sad Girl !!!!!

Friday 19 May - the dreaded day for all has arrived. Arnie and Di fly out from Rome and Florence respectively. We are up at the crack of dawn (yes folks believe it - me up at 7am !!!!!)to get them to Poggibonsi for the 7.45am Sita bus to Florence. I am absolutely wrenched and in tears as we say our goodbyes and then watch as they are whisked away. I pick up groceries at the nearby Coop supermarket (where you have to wear a plastic glove to choose your fruit & veg). As I am barely able to suppress the tears I totally forget about my fear of...

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May 8, 2006 - Siena

Started out today to go to the hill town of San Gimignano, but ended up in Siena instead. We left Civitella via a backroad that we hoped would take us there, but after an hour of up and down and wind around the mountain, we decided to get back to the highway. If we had gone on the highway to start, we would have been at our destination. When we got back to the highway, we found we were still very near our own town! So we went to Siena because it was closer. We wandered about the windy streets, explored a beautiful church, spent some time at...

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May 6, 2006 - Casina Di Rosa

Drove back to Gaeta to get Jo's passport. Only a slight detour. We stopped at a lido (beach) to walk in the Mediterranean Sea. Beautiful blue sea, soft sand. Got lost again trying to find the road to Grosseto. Finally found the Autostrada and went north to find our little town of Civitella Maritimma. There are tolls on the Autostrada, but we didn't know exactly how to work the automatic machines. So we took a ticket and sped away!! Ends up we did the right thing. You take a ticket when you get on, and pay when you get off. Drove most of the...

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May 5, 2006 - Back to Tuscany with Mom

After enjoying the Amalfi Coast, mom and I headed back to Siena so she could experience Tuscany. From Sorrento we hired a car to drive us to Naples. We had heard lots of stories (and even read in travel books) about the pick-pocketing and crime in Naples. There is a little local train that runs between Sorrento and the Naples train station, but we read that the most pick-pocketing is done on this train. So we opted for a car ride to take us straight to the train, where the driver even helps you on with your bags. So we rode with Lorenzo...

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Apr 25, 2006 - Siena and Assisi

Lovely Siena! A golden, glowing city. And today it's filled with Italians on holiday. (April 25 is Italian Liberation Day, and celebrants partied until 4 a.m. in the alley below our window. Mama Mia!) San Domenico Church cradles St. Catherine's head in a place of honor - her thumb and other artifacts too. (It's interesting trying to explain these medieval customs to Ella. One of her questions, a good one: "Why would they separate her head from her body? And, by the way, where IS the rest of her?") We love our room at Alma Domus (a former...

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Apr 21, 2006 - Scenes from Siena

Ciao Amicos! Here are a few more pictures of Siena so that you can get a feel for the area. It is a quaint little town that has been one of the only ones in Tuscany that has been able to truly keep its medieval feel. The main point of town is the Campo which is the "heart" of Siena. In the front of the Campo is City Hall along with the City Tower perched right beside it. From these two structures is an open brick area that fan out to create an amphitheater area with cafes, restaurants, bars and gelaterias along the back edge in a type of...

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Apr 15, 2006 - My New Home in Siena

For most of my time in Italy, I wanted to stay in Tuscany and have a home base that I could use to travel to surrounding Italian cities. On the advice of a friend (thank you, Shawn Sweeney) I chose Siena as my home base. In my research I was lucky to find the San Francisco B&B as my new little home. The B&B is located in a 15th century building in the middle of medieval Siena within the Bruco "Caterpillar" Contrada (the neighborhoods within Siena are divided into 17 Contradas that compete against each other in the Palio, which is a horse...

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Mar 16, 2006 - Sienna

All roads are supposed to lead to Rome... In Sienna, all roads lead back to the Duomo. An hour and a half train ride away from Firenze, a sprawling medievalish city with fortified walls and labyrithine streets, it's a gorgeous city to get lost in. Which is exactly what we did. I can hold my own with the best of them exploring a city usually, but here, each street led you in at least three of the cardinal directions. You couldn't see the horizon anywhere since the streets were all lined with four story buildings leaning in over you, and...

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Cognosce te Ipsum

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