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

Aug 18, 2007 - Tuscany - Wine Country

Day 6 and thanks to many of your contributions, a personal chauffeured tour of wineries in the Tuscan hills was planned. Stephano picked us up and after a brief discussion of our plan/requirements it was off. The drive through the countryside was beautiful. Rolling hills of row after row after row of grape vines as far as the eye can see. As far as we can remember (this was wine-tasting day after all) we were heading out towards Siena passing through many villages and small towns whose names were lost on us by the end of the day...

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Jun 25, 2007 - Gladly walking Siena

The ceiling fan made all the difference in this room. The high ceilings and large space were cool in the morning as the bell echoed through the cobbled streets. We headed toward the plaza but first flat bread heated sandwiches and expresso were breakfast. We watched the steady flow of regulars come in and exchange whatever news, like who are these two stupid Americans smiling at. We finished and headed for the Plaza. Twice a year the town makes Siena's main plaza into a horse track. Just add 16,000 people, tons of sand, bareback riders and...

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Nov 17, 2006 - Relaxation

What could be more relaxing the lounging around on a deck high above a Tuscan town looking at all the red roofs and gazing at the basilica in the distance. Or maybe taking a stroll on the Campo, grabbing a coffee while you watch the gypsies go after unsuspecting tourists, and then wandering off for a gelato at the other side of the square. Welcome to Siena. Siena sits at he centre of a multitude of Tuscan hill towns that dot the surrounding countryside. Each has it's own charm, but Siena, with it's ornately decorated Romanesque basilica and...

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Trip Journal


honeymoonplanet

Nov 7, 2006 - Siena and ooh la la David

After having the most amazing free hostel breakfast (eggs, bacon and toast!) we all hopped on a bus to Siena. We walked around and found the Il Campino (square where they do horse racing every august) It's a big open area in the shape of a seashell and is all made of brick. We stopped for a coffee here and people watched. Found ourselves getting lost but just kept walking around the tiny little streets until we found the Duomo. However, the duomo is currently under restoration so it wasn't that nice. We made our way back to the shopping...

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Oct 8, 2006 - Some Italian Countryside

Tuscany and Umbria Siena We rented a car - A little Fiat Punto! After a beautiful drive through Tuscany from Florence, we ended up in the heart of Siena. Sounds good right? Well, the drive was great! We enjoyed beautiful Tuscan villas and the characteristic skinny and tall cypress trees. We passed what looked like endless vineyards as our mouths watered for some wine. We followed the signs for Siena centro. This is when our drive turned ugly. We actually ended up inside the city walls. Doesn't sound so bad? Well, we drove the wrong way on...

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Sep 20, 2006 - Tuscany

Days 1-10, Tuscany: We had such a good time in Tuscany during our honeymoon a few years ago that we allocated over a week to the region. During our honeymoon we did a pretty good job of canvassing northern Tuscany (the Chianti area, Florence, San Gimignano, Siena, etc.), so we opted instead to explore the southern area. Our first stop was the town of Montalcino, home of the highly regarded Brunello di Montalcino red wine. Montalcino, like many of its neighboring towns, is a small medieval city that sits on a hill overlooking vineyards and...

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Sep 7, 2006 - Siena

Arriving earlier than we thought we again tried to locate a free camp spot using the Sat Nav - again winding up in smaller streets than we preferred to be in! Getting out of there was job number one, finding another free place to park was job number two! We eventually found a suitable car park and we stocked up on some shopping at the nearby supermarket. The boys were desperate for a cold beer, but unfortunately it was to hot outside & the fridges just weren't cold enough to cool down the one's they'd just bought so they went without... The...

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Aug 23, 2006 - Sienna

The next day we caught the bus to Sienna, which cost more than the train for some reason. It was about 20 minutes faster, but was more cramped and bloody hot. Sienna was beautiful. A genuine preserved medieval town with its winding streets glowing in the Tuscan sun. The semicircular town piazza is fantastic, sloping down in a clam shape towards the town hall and bell tower. There was a massive queue to go up the tower so we gave it a miss and explored the town instead. Sienna has some fantastic traditions dating back for centuries where...

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Jul 5, 2006 - Siena

This morning after brekkie we catch a bus to Siena which is a medievel town about 70 klms from Florence. This is the town where they hold the Palio horse race twice a year. In fact one race was held last Sunday (the 2nd of July) which we watched on telly from Venice - it's prime time viewing. The next race is on the 16th August. The race dates back to the 1300's where the 11 districts from around Siena compete for winning the race for their district. Horses are chosen by ballot and before the race there are flag bearers decked out in the...

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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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