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;
DSC05728

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.

.

©All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

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.

DSC05263

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! 🙂

©All Rights Reserved.

Palio 16.08.2014 !

DSC05118

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!

DSC05108

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)!

DSC05160

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!

©All Rights Reserved.

 

Tutte le strade portano a Roma !

DSC04274
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 !! 🙂

©All Rights Reserved.

Concerto sinfonico per il 39° Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte !

DSC04964Saturday, on 2nd August at 21.30 was very worth to be on Piazza Duomo in Siena.
And again everything was because of music (this time classical music).

For the first time in the history of the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano the final act of the show was held exceptionally in Siena.

It was for sure an amazing event – symphony concert with 180 musicians conducted by Roland Böer on the occasion of the 39th International Art Workshop in support of the candidacy of Siena for European Capital of Culture 2019(http://www.2019si.eu/index.php/en/). That is why it was important to share the common goal of promoting a new European cultural perspective. Don’t forget that Siena is a candidate city for European Capital of Culture 2019. What you should know the verdict of the jury will be announced in October. So keep your fingers crossed for SIENA !

DSC04962Our city was during the day surprised by some applauded flash mob organized by the team of Siena 2019 as well as performances of artists and musicians in various corners of the city.DSC04961

What is more during the concert audience got another surprise from FunDanza family (a cultural association that for 10 years worked for spreading hip hop culture in Siena) that showed an original dance performance to classical music.

I am convinced that Saturday evening was the unique act of union for everyone who had a possibility to be there.
DSC04965

©All Rights Reserved.

Ristorante Pizzeria Malborghetto!

There are such restaurants that you want to come back and eat there again as soon as possible. Isn’t like that?

DSC04920
One of them is for me and can be also for you Ristorante Pizzeria Malborghetto (http://ristorantemalborghet.wix.com/malborghetto#!home/c21p) that I want to strongly recommend you today!

I know that for tourists the worst thing is looking for a restaurant especially when we are hungry. That is why you should reach there . . . Because why looking for when it is absolutely not necessary when you are in Siena.

DSC04955
Ristorante Pizzeria Malborghetto
(Via di Porta Giustizia 6) is situated in the center of Siena, just behind Piazza del Campo, very close to Orto de’Pecci, in a charming and calm area. Only here you can admire unique and picturesque views such a for example Torre di Mangia.

DSC04922

But let’s write about the food. Here you have an opportunity to taste a big variety of tasty dishes typical for Tuscany: starters; first and second courses (rich in meat and fish); see food specialties.

DSC04930It is obvious that you can’t miss here a possibility to enjoy an excellent Italian pizza. I can say without doubts that Malborghetto offers one of the best pizza in Siena. I personally recommend you my favorite one that is “Malborghetto” (with Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese, Truffle, Porcini Mushrooms, Grana Cheese).

You can also order and try Ciaccini or Calzoni ? It is of course your choice!

And this everything is with a big choice of local wines . . .

I am sure that you will be charmed by the interior of the restaurant like also by the abloom external part the best for me because of the view!

What is very important I can truly guarantee you that you will be very satisfied with management, chef and waitress that create very friendly atmosphere. DSC04956

At the end it remains nothing else like to wish you to spend some unforgettable moments in Ristorante Pizzeria Malborghetto!! 🙂

Buon appetito!

©All Rights Reserved.

Orto de’ Pecci !

DSC04434Today I want to show you another ”must to see” in Siena. One of my favorite because green and without crowd! However in the history center of Siena.

DSC04791Orto de’Pecci (http://ortodepecci.it/cms2/) is a piece of countryside so close to the Piazza del Campo as well as a piece of history from fourteenth century (that was passed through Porta Giustizia by those who were convicted under Justice). Until the closure of mental hospitals Orto was a part of dell’Ospedale Psichiatrico (about which I mentioned in post about Corte dei Miracoli http://justvisitsiena.com/category/corte-dei-miracoli/).

Today, spaces and activities are managed by the social cooperative La Proposal founded in 1983. Cooperative’s aim is to keep on their productive activities. What is more La Proposal has been certified since 2001 under the brand AIAB organic farming in the cultivation and production of vegetables.DSC04798

For sure Orto de ‘Pecci is an ideal space for everyone. You find here some relaxation! At the same time you have an unique possibility to see reconstructed medieval urban garden with many plants (inter alia plenty of lettuces, cabbages, grapes, turnips and onions).

Orto de ‘Pecci is also a great place to make a break for lunch. In its restaurant you will not find complex lists of food or wine lists, exactly like in country inns. Here you have an priceless opportunity to taste delicious dish of the day as well as house wine that has such a taste that is not easily forgotten.

DSC04436What is important according to a project of “social tourism” Orto de ‘Pecci is also for those who have some difficulties or disabilities. It makes a valley and Siena enjoyable for everyone.
Another project Fattoria Orto de ‘Pecci is for children who attend the kindergartens. In collaboration with the Cooperativa Sociale Camaleonde, in the spring are carried out laboratory activities and entertainment to give children the opportunity to make fun sensory experiences and manuals in close contact with nature.

Since 2004, the Orto de ‘Pecci is also inserted in the circuit of educational farms in the Province of Siena.DSC04435

So are you going to spend some moments in this picturesque place? 🙂 I highly recommend it !

©All Rights Reserved.