One day in . . . Lucca !

Let’s say it . . . an autumn came to Siena. However lucky we, it is a very sunny autumn.

Maybe this can be a good time for doing sightseeing in Tuscany.
My suggestion for today is Lucca.DSC05779

This so picturesque city is situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plain near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is famous with Renaissance-era city walls (dated from the early 1500s) that will for sure attract your attention at the beginning. Do you know that the walls remained intact ? ! Now they are the best place to make a walk through a pathway surrounded by lots of trees and greenery. There are more than four kilometers of walls.DSC05775

But this beautiful city has much more to offer. You will see many medieval basilica-form churches in Lucca with rich arcaded façades and campaniles. For sure the most important are:

Duomo di San Martino that is surrounded by impressive medieval buildings and originally built in the 12th to 13th centuries;
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Church of San Michele in Foro that was built from the 11th through 14th centuries and has a large Romanesque façade. On the top you will see a statue of the archangel San Michele;DSC05735

Romanesque church of San Giusto;

Basilica di San Frediano which facade is decorated with an amazing 13th century Byzantine-style mosaic. Can you imagine that the church was originally built in the 6th century, however after was remodeled in the 12th;DSC05747

Church of Sant’Alessandro;

Church of San Michele.

DSC05757As every Tuscany city also Lucca has a big Piazza – Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro that was the site of a Roman amphitheater. Picturesque buildings all around were built during the middle ages. As you can easily guess it is a great place to take a break, relax and of course to drink a coffee. After this you can check many souvenirs shops.DSC05760

Don’t miss also Piazza Napoleone that is one of the biggest squares in Lucca and was designed by the sister of Napoleon in 1806.

If you like climbing and panorama views you should reach Guinigi Tower – one of Lucca’s 14th century towers. To see great views of Lucca it is necessary to overcome only 130 stairs. DSC05755

What is more and what you should know Lucca is a city of the famous opera composer Giacomo Puccini. That is why his home is now a museum with his piano, musical scores, and more Puccini memorabilia (Puccini House Museum).

If you like shopping you will be absolutely not disappointed. The historic city center of Lucca has many shops. A main shopping street is via Fillungo. Here you’ll find all kinds of shops, from food and wine to clothing and household items.DSC05768

As you can see it is impossible to get bored in Lucca – city that has a lot to offer for everyone.

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Che bella Bologna !

DSC05244I am sure that some of you to get to Siena land in Bologna. It is a great possibility to do sightseeing of the capital and the largest city of the Emilia-Romagna (also known as a place with a long tradition of openness towards diversity and minorities).

I like so much this city and can truly recommend you! Different then Siena, is bigger as well as very interesting because contains a wealth of important medieval, renaissance, and baroque artistic monuments.

Bologna developed along the Via Emilia as an Etruscan and later Roman colony. Because of Roman heritage, the central streets of Bologna, follow the grid pattern of the Roman settlement. The original ramparts were supplanted by a high medieval system of fortifications.

Attention attract medieval defensive towers. The most famous of the towers of Bologna are the central “Due Torri”.DSC05293

And for sure you can’t miss a main square Piazza Maggiore, that was created in its present appearance the 15th century.This beautiful square is surrounded by the Palazzo dei Banchi, Palazzo dei Notai, the Palazzo d’Accursio, the Palazzo del Podestà and the Basilica of San Petronio.

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What is more Bologna is enriched by its elegant and extensive porticoes. The famous porticoes are nominated as Unesco “world heritage site”! As you will see they make the city of Bologna unique in the world. Can you imagine that there are about 38 km of porticoes in the city’s historical centre?

DSC05285What is unique – lights and shadows, deep architectural perspectives, different columns and capitals create fascinating and extraordinary urban images. So don’t only miss them: The porticoes of Piazza Maggiore; The portico of the Baraccano Conservatory; The porticoes of Strada Maggiore; The portico of San Giacomo Maggiore and Via Zamboni; The porticoes of Piazza Santo Stefano; The wooden porticoes of Via Marsala; The commercial portico of Via dell’Indipendenza; The portico of San Luca (that is possibly the world’s longest).

DSC05234What not a lot of us know Bologna has been for centuries a town full of large vegetable gardens and secret gardens among the buildings, with walking spaces in the Montagnola Park and in San Michele in Bosco.  Thanks to the decision of Napoleon (in the early 19th century), Montagnola Park became the first public park in Bologna. The first park outside the city walls was the Margherita Gardens.

If you like shopping you should for sure pass the area now known as “Il Quadrilatero” (where the ancient trade guilds were based), the city’s most traditional commercial centre. It is enclosed by the main squares of the city – Piazza Maggiore, Piazza S. Stefano, P. Galvani, Minghetti, della Mercanzia, Porta Ravegnana and Re Enzo.

 I am sure that everyone of you will find something interesting in this city! And then only Sena bus or train to Siena.

Have a sunny and happy day! 🙂

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Tutte le strade portano a Roma !

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Isn’t it so true that all roads lead to Rome !?

Very often also mine.

As I wrote in ‘’ how to reach Siena’’http://justvisitsiena.com/about-siena-2/how-to-reach-siena-2/ one of the possibilities to reach my city is taking bus or train from Rome. The travel takes about 3 hours.

DSC04262And I am sure that many of you use this opportunity to do sightseeing in the eternal city that is the capital of Italy.

Every time I can’t take my eyes off the symbols of Rome: The Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II; Piazza del Popolo; Spanish Steps & Trinita dei Monti; The Trevi Fountain; Bridge of Angels; the Colosseum; Castel Sant’Angelo; The Pantheon; Vatican City; Roman Forum. Do you have the same ?!DSC04257

Waiting for the Palio (16.08.2014) send you greetings and postcards from Roma !! 🙂

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Holiday time !

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August has already begun!
Another hot and sunny weekend is coming . . .
Most Italians on holiday !

My favorite place to spend unforgettable holiday time is Turkey!
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By sending some postcards from Turkey I wish you unforgettable holiday moments wherever you are!

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Send an unique postcard !

Postcard from http://www.lettr.co/L3KS1hxrrEFqZg !

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What is the best souvenir from your travel?
For me personally photos and postcards . . . that can stay with us forever and remind us amazing moments from travel.
What a priceless happiness is to get a postcard from all around the world, isn’t it?!

This everything you can have because of http://www.lettr.co/L3KS1hxrrEFqZg that I want to promote on my blog. Why? Because their idea for me to send such a unique postcard is great !

Just only think how many postcards you bought in your past and you haven’t sent.
Lettr gives you an amazing opportunity to send a postcard from all around the world and what is more without pen and stamp !DSC04448

It is a postcard of the 21st century that allows you to send memorable souvenir with your own photo as easy as sharing it online. What is more it still keeps that very personal touch of a traditional postcard – sender’s handwritten signature.
Back side of your postcard includes a message, map with location (that shows a place where postcard was created-localization service provides authenticity of the place) and what is more with your own signature.
So everything like you know it from a traditional postcard however adapted to the modern style of our life.DSC04445

After your postcard is created online on the smartphone/laptop, it is sent to Lettr center. Then specially designed application sends order to the closest place of the final destination. And be sure that Lettr takes care of express printing and delivery.

Your postcard is printed on traditional paper. The same one as travelers are used to send by local post service. But what is important delivery time is usually 2-3 days instead of 2-3 weeks. Isn’t it great?!

Frankly speaking I have enough of situation when my friends got postcard from my travel after I came back home. . . and I think that the same you have.
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Payment for postcard (just only $2.50) is secure and convenient. You can choose from type of payment that you prefers (credit card, debit card or PayPal). You don’t have to buy a stamp and then look for a mailbox.

Here is how does it work:
1. Upload your own unique travel photo.

2. Then write a personal story or greeting.

3. Using your tablet, sign your name or draw a handwritten signature or picture – a wonderful way to add a personal touch and bring back a bit of traditional communication.

4. Sign in to Facebook and select the friends you want to send it to or just write an address of your recipients. And your work here is done! If you use simple Facebook sign-in, and select recipients from your social network, don’t worry about addresses or stamps, that’s not your job! (if you choose this way your chosen contacts will be invited to Lettr to tell where to send the personal postcard you’ve sent).

5. You get back to your travels, and Lettr gets to work! They print your postcard on hand-picked paper and quickly deliver it anywhere in the world.

So isn’t it high time to change our old habit!? It is your choice! To send your postcards from a comfortable sunny place or your favorite one just in a snap of finger (and then continue relaxing) or to choose traditional way with postcard bought in shop, pen and searching for post box.DSC04437

I have already sent my postcard with Lettr and I brightened someone’s day. So trust me, it really works ! Now your turn! You can always send it to Visit Siena! As well as from Siena!
What is more first 10 postcards are for free !

I wish you many unforgettable moments during your travel !

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Summer time in Marina di Grosseto !

DSC04530Summer time just came and for some of us the best place to spend the day off is the beach.

Fortunately Tuscany also can boast of some marine paradises.

I want to suggest you one of them that is very close to Siena. Marina di Grosseto that is famous tourist destination located only twelve kilometers from Grosseto and is an important seaside resort in Grossetan Maremma.

Just here you have a great opportunity admire its hilly hinterland, rich in macchia and wide beaches overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, with a vast pine forest that extends from Punta Ala to the Uccellina Mountains.DSC04518

What is important because of clear water Marina di Grosseto has received the Blue flag of FEEE (Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe).

All area including the small town is very picturesque, rich in restaurants and beautiful views.

DSC04492You can’t miss very nice and small Port of Marina di Grosseto.

What is more during the summer period you can have a possibility to reach everyday Marina di Grosseto from Siena by MareBus. More http://www.tiemmespa.it/index.php. Single ticket costs 8 EUR or 11 EUR.

If I it doesn’t convince you just look below.

Wish you sunny and happy week!!

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A sunny Sunday in Livorno ! :)

DSC04337Today I want to show you some views from another for sure worth to visit place in Tuscany – Livorno! Everything is from last sunny and hot Sunday.

The port city of Livorno is Tuscany’s third largest city after Florence and Prato. However isn’t very popular with the crowds, what I really really like! The city lies on a series of wide canals. This gives an unique for Tuscany atmosphere. What is more compared to another Tuscan cities, Livorno is of ‘recent’ origins and can’t boast the same history.
Livorno was founded just over 400 years ago, and what you can see easily in many ways is so totally different from the rest of Tuscan towns.
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Since first sight became one of my favorite cities in Italy. Why is like that? It has everything what I like: sea, canals, picturesque port, small streets, no crowd of tourists, good places to eat/drink, friendly residents and priceless sunsets.

DSC04421From Siena you can reach Livorno easily by train. Travel lasts about 2h and single ticket costs about 10 EUR. From the train station Livorno Centrale there is a shuttle bus number 1 that takes you to the center and harbor (single ticket 1.20 EUR, on the board 1.70 EUR).

DSC04350As you will have the luck to be in Livorno you should see: Terrazza Mascagni, The lighthouse, The Port, “little Venice”, The Fortezza Vecchia and Nuova, The Central Market, excellent fish restaurants, Numerous neo-classical buildings, public parks, Historic churches, The Scali (Manzoni, D’Azeglio, degli Olandesi, dei Saffi, del Pontino, del Pesce and Rosciano), The Cathedral of S. Francesco and much more.

DSC04389I don’t think it is necessary to write more. Just only look below and discover this Tuscan treasure when you will have only such a possibility! I am coming there back for sure soon!:)
Have a happy and sunny Sunday!:)DSC04369


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