Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Livorno ~ Tuscany

Good Morning,
We have just arrived into the Port of Livorno. This morning the sun did not greet me.
However we just had t o make the best out of the weather. It poured all day.

We trying to believe the show, "Under the Tuscany Sun." But no such luck today.
As you can see, it not only rained, it poured.

We were on a 2-hour drive, through medieval hill-towns and beautiful surrounding valleys.
The Tuscany region is made of hills, fertile valleys and sandy beaches.

We finally arrived at the small walled medieval hill town village of San Gimignano, in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north central Italy. It is mainly famous for it's medieval architecture especially it's towers.

I have added this picture from the Internet, as we had poor visibility that day. As you can see it was a beautiful spot to explore.

I loved this little town. The people of Tuscany are noted for their charm, generosity and taste for good living. They take great pride in their art and architectural treasures.

Ah ha, now you know why I liked this place. We had about 1 hour to shop. I thing that's the longest shopping time we had while on tour. So of course I took the opportunity to purchase some of the Italian leathers. You need to check out Italian leather. It's the best.

It was lunch time and through these cobbly roads we meandered. Once I had to hold my breath as the bus driver took a sharp corner and then had to back up and we faced a very steep incline in front of us. He was trying to change gears and I was next to him, sitting in the front seat, I saw too much.....But that too passed. Trust???

The bus driver Turned around and asked, "Does anyone know the direction?" He was trying to ease his conscious after the harrowing experience.

This photo brightened my day after that close call.

And more charm.

Finally we found our way down to an old farm home, where they served us Tuscany's legendary cuisine, adding complimentary wine from their own Winery.
Wine is so inexpensive and served with every meal. Maybe we have something to learn.

Gourmets and wine buffs descend on Tuscany to enjoy the wonderful Italian cuisine and wine.
These experiences are so tasteful and delectable.

After lunch on tour to Volterra, we passed Andrea Bocelli's home town. Each year he comes back to his home town to give a concert. It was scheduled for July. Would that not of been a highlight to see him in concert in his home town of Lajatico?
Andrea Bocelli was born on September 22, 1958, in Italy. He has become a renowned singer, writer as well as a successful music producer. Bocelli has made his mark both as a talented and successful operatic tenor but also as a crossover classical singer.
What has made Bocelli's life and career all the more amazing is the fact that he is blind. He has congenital glaucoma -- but, those who know him best, maintain that he has never let his blindness hold him back in his life.

In Volterra we visited a local alabaster workshop and was given a demonstration by a local artisan.

Alabaster is hydrated calcium sulphate. It is a snow white stone, superior and refined as clear as the spirit of the earth. It can be found deep within the hills of the surrounding countryside of Volterra.

When we reached the village of Voterra, we visitied anothe Piazza die Prioiri, one of the most beautiful squares in Itlay.

We were prohibited from entering the square as they were having a hugh rally their for government officials.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta.

Babtistery, also looking up at the bell tower.

We then proceeded to see the ruins of the Roman Theater, (dating back to the 1st century BC)
brought to life again only at the beginning of this century.

The trip home was another 1.5 hours and one could not think about sleeping. Again, we were most amazed with the topography a combination of fertile valleys and sloping green hills in which Cypress trees thrive.

So that brings us to a close of another day in the famous regions of Tuscany. You've seen many soft rounded hills and the medieval architecture of the villages.

What you did miss was the silver green of the olive trees mingling with the dark of the cypress trees. But if you look closely you may see some shape of trees in the downpour.

I would go back to the Tuscany region in a moment's time. I loved it and would love to see more of its' agriculture.


  1. I've read so much about Tuscany and every one of your photos reenforces my wish to visit!

    I noticed a billboard in one of the photos of the singer's hometown that advertises Teatro, which is an ENGLISH singing group!

  2. One of the places I would totally love to visit. In spite of the rain.

    Love those green shoes!

  3. Such a beautiful place. What fun you must be having!

  4. Now I am hungry after seeing the spread and the wine. My mouth is watering...I'm on break at work, and I know our vending machine is going to be no match for what you showed!

  5. Now there is a place I must see. . .it has always seemed like the most gorgeous place .. and like you said so charming.
    The cuisine and the atmosphere . .seem like something we would love.
    It's too bad it was bad weather. ..I guess you'll have to try again sometime.

  6. Rain or looks like a beautiful place to visit! Maybe one day.

    I learned a few things here today. Thanks for the lesson about alabaster....and the history of Andrea Bocelli.


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