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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Mercato degli Artigiani!

Are you in Siena? Don’t miss Mercato degli Artigiani:)!
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Since today 15th October till 19th October (10 to 19 o’clock) you have an unique possibility to see and to buy traditional arts of Siena’s artisans. This small market of the excellent craftsmanship you can visit in Cortile del Podestà in Piazza del Campo.

DSC05694You can find here many interesting things that can be great gift ideas – from iron, ceramics, wood, clothes, decorations to jewellery. And what is more this everything exclusively is Made in Siena.

DSC05681The initiative is part of the project “Mestieri d ‘ Autore” made by the Camera di Commercio di Siena. The project as well as a competition for crafts valuable Senese held an exhibition that will be open until 19th October in the hall of Palazzo Comunale (sala Costumi).

Just look below to realize that is really worth to be there.

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Il volontariato scende in Piazza – Festa del volontariato 2014 !

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Is it possible to “measure” the heart of a Siena? That is for sure!

Just yesterday September 13th of course in the heart of our city – Piazza del Campo took a place – “Il volontariato scende in Piazza”!
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It was a great event that showed everyone how Siena is rich in people that spend their time for voluntary service. So do I since some time!

And what you should know, it is really worth!

DSC05552It was an afternoon of music and fun organized by The Cesvot – Delegation of Siena! And everything this was to discover voluntary associations of our city.
Two street band gave concerts (between the booths set up in Piazza del Campo) that attracted a lot of local people and tourists. This of course on Piazza del Campo where, between markets and demonstrations, voluntary organizations had a possibility to showed their own everyday activities.
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What is more also Siena 2019 Capitale Europea della Cultura – città candidata was presented with an information point.
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However not only 🙂 Just look below 🙂

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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Palio 16.08.2014 !

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Lucky we that have a possibility to participate in another great day for Siena! Palio di Siena del 16 agosto 2014!

After very difficult entrance on Piazza del Campo and joining huge crowd of people we knew very well that the great event is coming!

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And everyone on Piazza del Campo also knew it that everyone of us was a witness of a great race, great rivalry, great excitement, great victory and great joy and fun. So what we could want more . . . !

Yesterday was a day of an amazing triumph of the hero – il fantino Andrea Mari and Contrada del CIVETTA that won Palio di Siena del 16 agosto 2014 and got an original Drappellone made by Ivan Dimitrov (dedicated to the Tuscan poet Mario Luzi)!

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From your E-mails I know that some of you have been yesterday in SIENA. I hope you had a priceless day and you got some unforgettable memories. And of course a big passion to come back to Siena soon!!

DSC05162For all of you especially these that didn’t have chance to be in Siena some photos !

So see you next Palio! Unfortunately we have to wait long time again. . . but of course we will! Con piacere!

And as always greetings from very sunny and very happy Siena!

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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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