Inside the Duomo di Siena.
Backstreet Views of the Torre pendente di Pisa.
After spending an initial 4 days in Florence I then met up with friends and we relocated into the Agriturismo Santa Barbara Country House. This little gem near San Miniato is a house with 3 apartments that each sleep 5 and come with their kitchen, a big nice pool and an outside barbecue area that can be used. Staying in the heart of Tuscany proved to be very convenient as we then ventured out from here to visit Siena, Lucca, Pisa and finally travel on to this summer wedding’s destination of Castellina in Chianti.
We were lucky and the day we chose to visit Pisa ended up being their annual Luminaria di San Ranieri, a festival of lights where thousands of candles are lit along the house near the river Arno and spectacular fireworks illuminate the night for close to an hour to honor the patron saint. The Pisa tower sadly has been straightened out lately, nonetheless, its leaning was still rather impressive.
In Lucca, we climbed the local torre and then went for the obligatory bike ride around the city wall. Since it’s only 4.5km for one round, we opted for a second round, partly on tandem, partly on ‘normal’ bikes. If you’re up for it, you can also rent bicycle carts where two people can sit next to one another. There’s plenty of rental places all along the wall, so just pick one.
Siena has a rather impressive Duomo as well as Catacombs with works from the young Michelangelo and Bernini – it’s a bit surreal to see the actual works of these artists so up close. Beautiful each in their own way. The same day we also squeezed in a visit to San Gimignano.
What I was most impressed about though were the colors and the patterns. So many stunning tilings and ceilings and columns and facades – Tuscany and also Italy in general definitely call for another visit.
Most Germans spend a lot of holidays in Italy but somehow I have never really been except for one occasion with a youth group trip when I was 12 years old. Naturally I don’t remember much besides the nice pool and Iseo and Preci where we stayed respectively for the 2 weeks we were there. So Italy has climbed up high on my list of places to roadtrip with more time on my hands.
This time the grand finale was my good friends’ wedding. A rather glamorous event in a stunning location.