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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Onto San Gimignano, Siena, Spoleto and Assisi!



Day 17 - San Gimignano, Siena & Spoleto

Montecatini Terme, San Gimignano, Siena, Spoleto

Sunday, 15 May 2011
We left Montecatini to make a short drive across Tuscany to the fairy tale "town of towers" San Gimignano, famous for its 13th & 14th century Tuscan towers. Unfortunately today was our first rainy day. We still managed to explore the pedestrian walkways of this delightful hilltop town.
We head for Sienna for lunch. During the drive we got to see a DVD on the (crazy) annual horse race which is held here! We had a yummy lunch with Aldo, Megan, Sylvia, Paul, Kay, Michael, Sue and Brian.
Next we wound our way up the hills of Umbria to the wonderful walled town of Spoleto where we stayed for the the next two nights. The hotel was Hotel Dei Duchi in which our rooms were very modern but it overlooks a medieval ampitheater.
We found that we could easily explore Medieval Spoleto on foot. There were Romanesque churches (in one we found a underground crypt which could just walk into). Spoleto is a lovely town with cobblestone alleyways and characters shops, bars and trattorias.
Dinner was very nice and we had a fun time the Baggio's with their two young boys, Megan, Miranda, Sylvia and Paul. We had drinks later with Franco, Megan and Miranda, then Miranda came out with a classic statement, "Jason's got nuts"! The way she said it came out funny and then she was embarrassed. We didn't let her live that down for a while.

San Gimignano (and the umbrella brigade).
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Wet streets of San Gimignano.
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In the main square.
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Tallest tower in San Gimignano!
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Rainy but not cold!
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Pottery shop extraordinaire!
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Local small goods shop, with hog out the front.
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The sun is trying to get through.
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Interesting.
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Coffee with Sue and Brian.
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Tiny coffee!
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View from cafe window.
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Outskirts of San Gimignano.
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Not the Mona Lisa!
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Towers
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Keeping dry.
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What can I say - I like flowers & plants, Jason li
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Pretty and green.
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Looking in to the main square, the at Siena.
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This square becomes an arena for a radical barebac
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In Siena.
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The Palazzo Pubblico, the town hall of Siena. Con
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If you look carefully you can see all the horse te
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This is the Font Gaia.
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This is a horse tether that has been used for so m
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Serpent tether.
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Statues and architecture.
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Looking from within the courtyard of the town hall
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Looking up to the clock tower.
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Interesting statue commissioned in honor of the pa
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In a shop window!
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Farewell Siena!
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Marco & Luke
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Day 18 - Assisi

Spoleto, Assisi, Spoleto

Monday, 16 May 2011
We spent this morning in the nearby beautiful Umbrian city of Assisi guided by a Franciscan Monk for a tour of the basilica of St Francis with magnificent frescoes. Afterwards we explored Assisi at our own pace.
Then we returned to Spoleto to have the afternoon at leisure. We took a walk on the pathway around the town and up to and around the old castle which was unfortunately closed. But then we walked to and across the old viaduct.

Countryside on our way to Assisi.
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Walking up to Assisi.
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And Aldo with our Australian flag.
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The long walk up!
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Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi!
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Looking up from the Basilica to Assisi.
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View from Assisi to the valley below!
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Looking down to Santa Maria degli Angeli.
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Close up of the Basilica.
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Jason in Assisi.
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Quite nice!
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At 72 per cent alcohol, this is strong stuff!
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Glad I don't live up these stairs!
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More spring flowers, the stone wall really sets th
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Strolling through Assisi.
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In Assisi.
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An interesting place to stay one would imagine.
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The main Piazza!
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In the Piazza!
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Mmm, a begging monk, interesting!
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Back down to the coach and back to Spoleto.
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Leaving Assisi.
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Town of Foligno
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The climb back up to Spoleto.
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Remains of the medieval ampitheater, just behind
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Jason and Karen in Spoleto.
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Village of Monteluco.
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Jason and the aqueduct!
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230m long!
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The castle at Spoleto.
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View of the aqueduct from the castle.
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Spoleto Castle.
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Princess at the castle.
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I'm likin' the lichen on the wall!
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So much stone!
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The crypt we found in Spoleto dated back to the 13
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The church where we found the crypt in Spoleto.
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Narrow lane in Spoleto.
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Old buildings connect above the lanes.
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Main shopping street of Spoleto.
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Modern store in traditional setting.
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Another beautiful old church and fountain.
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