Tuscany

are we there yet?


 

Ascending the over four hundred steps of the Torre del Mangia of the Palazzo Publico in Siena.
Visit Italy Day Five to enjoy the spectacular view from the top of the tower.

Dramatic Tuscany

Whether in glorious colour or monochrome Tuscany takes your breath away.

 

The Three Graces cheekily contemplate two magnificent frescoes in the Libreria Piccolomini of Siena Cathedral.  On the left Enea Silvio, bishop of Siena, presents Eleonora d’Aragona to Emperor Federico III and on the right Enea receives the cardinal’s hat

The photo was taken with an iPhone 6S during our recent visit to Siena in October.
You can find more images of both the library and of Siena by visiting Italy Day Five.

WPC: Serene


 
Can any view be more serene than that of the Tuscan hills and fields surrounding the Abbey of Sant’Antimo that we had the good fortune of visiting on Day Seven of our Italian holiday just over a month ago.
 

 

Italy Day Nine: Tiramisu


 
After a week exploring the beauty that is Tuscany day nine of our Italian holiday was a wonderful cooking class with Serena in her lovely home in Gambassi Terme. I had been looking forward to this all week, particularly as we were enjoying Tiramisu desserts everywhere we went. Now we were going to learn how to make it together with so many other delicious dishes. If anything justifies the term transformation it’s converting mascarpone cheese, eggs, biscotti, sugar and vinsanto wine into a dessert to die for.
 

 
The class was a great success as you can see and lunch with the products of our hard labour! was simply delicious. Grazie molto to Serena of Serena Tuscan Holidays who made it all possible, both for the cooking class and for arranging the lovely country home where we stayed with our dear friends who shared the adventure with us. A special thank you to them also for such happy memories.

I should add that the cooking class was such a great success that before leaving England for Vancouver we made Tiramisu for our farewell dinner and all I can say is that I think Serena would have been very proud of us.  The blueberries were our embellishment and one that I can highly recommend.


 
The photos for the cooking class were previously posted on October 20th on my Instagram site.

Italy Day Eight: Chianti country

Our day exploring Chianti was all about the landscape as we visited Panzano, Greve in Chianti and Badia A Passignano and everywhere in between.

 

 

 

Sending Happy Thanksgiving wishes to family and friends across the border.

Italy Day Seven: Montalcino and Sant’Antimo


 
Our last visit to Montalcino and Sant’Antimo was in April 2000. At that time we took the bus from Siena to Montalcino and then walked the final 10 kilometers to the Abbey. We returned again this year the day after our visit to Volterra and San Gimignano, and seventeen years later the journey and destination were as memorable as ever.
 

 

 
In March 2016 I posted Tuscan Reverie for the Daily Post’s inaugural Discover Challenge: Blogging the Senses in which I included a video of photos taken from our walk to Sant’Antimo in 2000. I thought I would re-post the video today so that you can enjoy once again the Gregorian chant “Haec Dies” from “Mysterium” a recording made in the Abbey in April 1995 by the five fathers of the Communita die Canonici Regolari di Sant’Antimo.

Italy Day Six: Volterra and San Gimignano

After Siena the Tuscan landscape en route to the ancient hilltop town of Volterra.

       

Two of the best reasons for visiting Volterra can be found in the Pinacoteca e Museo Civico.

Rosso Fiorentino. Deposition 1521

Luca Signorelli, Annunciazione, 1491

Volterra is also renowned as Italy’s capital of alabaster and visiting the Rossi Alabaster gallery and workshop on Piazza della Pescheria it is clear why.

      

One particular piece caught my eye as it’s beauty seemed to reflect those wonderful faces in the Fiorentino Deposition.

     

After Volterra it was on to San Gimignano.

The towers of this iconic hilltop town dominate the horizon for miles around.

      

The surrounding Tuscan landscape shimmering in the evening light.