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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Italy Day 9

On this particular day we got a late start. Both Susan and Emily were not feeling so hot. So we decided to take it easy and took our time in the morning. Harlan, my mom, Ryan and I all wanted to do a little exploring around our apartment. This was our last day in Tuscany and we wanted to soak it all in.
Apparently they have wild boars in Italy and I kept seeing hoof prints. I was on the look out for any wild pigs charging me! It was so relaxing and beautiful. A little dangerous for my mom. You just never know with her... :)
Harlan found where the owners keep their bees for their honey making business. Call me crazy, but I didn't want to get too close.
I had to get a picture of the "unfinished" side of the apartments. This was what we saw driving up to it and we freaked out! I was demanding to go somewhere else until we finally saw the renovated section and then I calmed down.
Can you even imagine if we had to stay here?!
The Ebright gang stopped for a quick picture before heading into Siena.
This is the San Domenico church where St. Catherine's head and finger resides. I find it a little odd to display these body parts but who asked me? St. Catherine was the lady that single handedly convinced the Pope to return from France to Rome.
Siena had these heads at the top of some of their buildings. I guess they want you to know they are always watching you.
They still have horse races through these streets every year.
Palazzo Pubblico, the graceful Gothic town hall was completed in 1342. At 330 ft, the bell tower, Torre del Mangia, is the second highest medieval tower ever built in Italy.
Siena's biggest rival was Florence. They were always battling to be the greater city. Siena always lost.
Piazza del Campo is the site of the old Roman forum and the marketplace.
Always got to have a picture of my man. ;)
Fonte Gaia is a 19th-century fountain that is a copy of an original carved by Jacopo della Quercia in 1409. It depicts the Virtues, Adam and Eve, and the Madonna and Child.
Susan & Harlan
Backside of the Duomo.
Front side of the Duomo. Inside are striped black and white marble pillars, surmounted by a carved frieze of the popes, that support the Duomo's vaulted ceiling, painted blue with gold stars to resemble the night sky. Pretty neat.
We came across our first soccer, or "football", game in Italy. So we sat down and watched for a bit.
We also came across our first castle! Of course we had to explore it. There was a nice walking path on the top of it. You can see a storm rolling in in the background. (in in??) This was the first hint of rain the entire time we were there. It ended up raining while we slept and was fine the next morning! We totally lucked out when it came to the weather.
Views from the castle.
Only three more days to post of the trip! Sorry this has taken me so long to finish. Hopefully in the next week or so it will be complete. Thanks for hanging in there with me.
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