Under the Tuscan Sun

After a 6am wake up call, I was off on another school sponsored field trip just like I did for Assisi and Ravena. With midterms around the corner, I didn’t want to spend the whole weekend away, leaving all my studying until the last minute.  So I decided stay in Florence but take advantage of a day trip on Friday. I must say after two weekends of planning our own trips, being able to hop on a bus and not worry about the plans was a treat!

Our first stop was Siena – a small but beautiful Tuscan city. Here, we went to the Cathedral which included works of art by Giovanni, Michelangelo, and Pintoricchio, climbed the “facciatone”, visited the cathedral museum, and heard a talk by a famous art historian on the “Maesta” by Simon Martini.  Our tour guide throughout the day, Rab Hatfield, a professor at Syracuse University Florence, was great – funny and incredibly knowledgeable. Apparently he is a well-known in the art history department and one of the leading scholars on Leonardo Da Vinci in the world!

 After I had gotten my fill of art history (probably for the year) we broke for lunch. Our tour guide said Siena was known for their wild boar, as is many other cities in Tuscany.

 We were lucky to have the most beautiful day – incredibly sunny and 65o! Siena turned out to be the epitome of my idea of Tuscany with rolling green hills covered with vineyards, and orangey brick buildings lining cobble stone streets. Maybe it was the town or maybe it was the Tuscan sun that made this place so beautiful today. My friends and I skipped out on seeing the last paintings of the day to soak up the rays in the Palazzo Pubblico. I’d say it was a good choice.

By afternoon it was time to head back on the bus (aka a mid-day nap) to our next destination – San Gimignano. This Tuscan city is located on top of a hill, providing many gorgeous views over the rolling hills. San Gimignano reminded me of Assisi, with cute shops, narrow cobblestone streets, and a church at the top of the hill. Besides the “Collegiata” church, the town was filled with tall towers. This was apparently due to a shortage of land back in the day when the only way to build was up. They were phenomenal!

 After strolling around the quaint city, it was back on the bus, departing for Florence as the sun set over the hills.

1 comment:

  1. Ellen!!! All the buildings look so pretty!Seems like there must be so much fantastic history! It looks so warm there... I wish I was soaking up the tuscan sun on the cobble stone streets :/ im so glad you are having a great time!