Italy

User: Angela.Lewis
Dates: 17 Oct 2017 - 23 Nov 2017
Duration: 1 month

Thursday 23 Nov 2017 8:12

Day 33 Venice - Marco Polo Airport

Went into Venice for the last time to do some last minute shopping.

Took the Alilaguna to the Airport, was a slow ride and took about an hour, but made it to the airport with plenty of time to check in.

First flight was to Doha and took 6 hours. Second flight Doha to Perth took 11 hours. I had 3 seats to myself so managed to sleep for a lot of it.

Justin picked me up at the airport, had forgotten where he parked the car, and then we got lost on the way home. So business as usual. Its good to be home!!

Posted: Nov. 23, 2017, 7:12 a.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 16:08

Venice - The leaves have all fallen off the trees by now

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 3:08 p.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 15:56

Venice - Dogs in inappropriate places: Vaporetto

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 2:56 p.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 15:42

Venice - San Marco Square still looks the same

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 2:42 p.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 15:11

Venice - Always coming up with new and interesting ways to hold up their buildings.

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 2:11 p.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 14:57

Venice - High Speed Train

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 1:57 p.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 14:52

Venice - Entering Venice by train this time

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 1:52 p.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 14:49

Venice - Return to Venice! On the train headed out into the lagoon.

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 1:49 p.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 9:41

Lucca - Walls

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 8:41 a.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 9:40

Lucca - Leaving the walls of Lucca

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 8:40 a.m.

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 8:58

Day 32 Venice

Travelling day today. Left Lucca on the train at 1030, had to change trains in Florence then was a 3 hour trip to Venice. The hi speed trains do about 300kp/h, its wicked so much better than flying.

In Venice I took the vaporetto to Lido and walked to Vittore's house. We couldn't go out for dinner because Speranza was sick. So I cooked some steaks instead.

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017, 7:58 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 19:51

Pisa - Ravioli with squash sauce and cheese fondu

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 6:51 p.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 19:34

Pisa - Dinner Veg pie with pumpkin soup sauce and venison prosciutto type ham

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 6:34 p.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 14:02

Pisa - Arno River

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 1:02 p.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 14:02

Pisa - Arno River, the same river that goes through Florence

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 1:02 p.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:36

Pisa - This is a sort of cemetery with hundreds of tombs in the floor.

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:36 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:26

Pisa - Area around the tower and cathedral

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:26 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:23

Pisa - View of the cathedral from the Baptistery

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:23 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:20

Pisa - Inside the Baptistery

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:20 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:19

Pisa - Bapistry

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:19 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:06

Pisa - Inside the cathedral

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:06 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:03

Pisa - Cathedral and Leaning Tower

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:03 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:02

Pisa - Obligatory embarrassing tourist photo

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:02 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 12:01

Pisa - Leaning tower. It is a bit squint.

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 11:01 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 11:57

Pisa - Leaning Tower - I tried to line this photo up with the ground.

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 10:57 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 11:47

Pisa - Spiral stairs down the leaning tower

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 10:47 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 11:46

Pisa - Bells in the top of the leaning tower

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 10:46 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 11:43

Pisa - View of Pisa from top of the tower

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 10:43 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 11:41

Pisa - The whole tower is made completely of marble. Check out the wear on the stairs caused by millions of people stepping on them. Amazing.

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 10:41 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 11:33

Pisa - Leaning tower specs

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 10:33 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 11:23

Pisa - Leaning tower - is as advertised

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 10:23 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 11:21

Pisa - Cathedral and Baptistery

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 10:21 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 9:59

Lucca - Outside the city wall

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 8:59 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 9:58

Lucca - City wall

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 8:58 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 9:53

Lucca - Another cathedral

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 8:53 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 9:50

Lucca - There is a garden on top of this tower.

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 8:50 a.m.

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017 8:37

Day 31 Pisa

Took the train to Pisa this morning, is only a half hour trip from Lucca. Once in Pisa I headed straight for the leaning tower. There's not a whole lot else to see in Pisa.

The tower is just one part of the beautiful grounds that included a Cathedral, Baptistery, Museums, Palace and Camponsanto (sort of a cemetery) The tower is really impressive not only because its leaning (and boy is it leaning, completely gravity defying) but the architecture of it is amazing. Its made completely of marble. I climbed to the top which involved heaps of spiral staircases, inside I didn't have any much trouble with the angle (it felt exactly like a heeling ship except with less movement) but there were some people who were really struggling to move around. At the top are two levels that you are allowed to go onto, one has the tower bells on it.

Then I went into the cathedral which was standard cathedral amazing. They were doing maintenance on it and had built a scaffold up in the ceiling, leaving the floor space free, very clever. The Baptistery had a great view over the grounds and the cemetery building thingy was one of the more unusual and beautiful buildings I have seen.

Had a pizza for lunch then headed back on the train to Lucca. Had a bit more of a wander around town then called it quits for the day. Went to the same restaurant as last night for dinner and had a vegetable pie with venison ham for entree, and ravioli with chests fondue for main. Yum!

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017, 7:37 a.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 19:55

Lucca - Pasta with Venison sauce.

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 6:55 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 19:35

Lucca - Dinner Baked artichokes with asiago cheese. Yum!

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 6:35 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 17:12

Lucca - Sunset

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 4:12 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 16:44

Lucca - On top of the city wall

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 3:44 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 16:38

Lucca - City wall

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 3:38 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 16:34

Lucca - Cathedral. The top section is mosaic, some of it with gold leaf.

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 3:34 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 16:28

Lucca - Built in the Middle Ages this angel was made with a mechanism that made its wings flap on special occasions.

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 3:28 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 16:28

Lucca - Cathedral

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 3:28 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 16:06

Lucca - On top of the wall

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 3:06 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 16:01

Lucca - On top of the wall

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 3:01 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 15:53

Lucca - A park on top of the wall

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 2:53 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 15:48

Lucca - My Bike

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 2:48 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 15:48

Lucca - On top of the wall

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 2:48 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 15:45

Lucca - On top of the wall

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 2:45 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 15:27

Lucca - this is the area I'm staying in. Its hard to tell from the photo but the buildings are in a perfect circle because they were built around an amphitheatre (mini colosseum) that existed in the Middle Ages.

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 2:27 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 15:26

Lucca - Stairs up to my room

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 2:26 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 14:46

Lucca - City Walls

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 1:46 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 14:45

Lucca - Main entrance inside the city walls

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 1:45 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 14:45

Lucca - First sight of Lucca

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 1:45 p.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 9:42

Siena - Down the hill to the train station. This is the outside of the 8 escalators you have to take to get to the bottom.

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 8:42 a.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 9:37

Siena - Leaving through the gates to Siena

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 8:37 a.m.

Monday 20 Nov 2017 7:18

Day 30 Siena to Lucca

Had a pretty big day today. Started a bit earlier and left the hotel straight after breakfast. I was anticipating the half hour walk to the train station to be very hilly. As it turned out it was ok and I ended up being at the train station over an hour early! This would have been fine except its an outdoor station and it was only 2 degrees! Was ok when I found a bench and put some more clothes on and read my book.

First had to take the train to Florence then change trains to get to Lucca. Took about 4 hours all up but was a pleasant journey. To get into Lucca I had to go through the gateway in the really thick wall that surrounds the city, it looked really cool from the outside and feels just like entering a medieval town.

Once in Lucca it was a half hour walk to the Bed and Breakfast. Am pretty impressed with this place it is super old but nice inside, has a communal kitchen and free breakfast included.

As soon as I'd dropped my bags I headed straight back out to check out the town. The sun is setting just before 5pm at the moment so got to make the most of every minute of daylight. I decided to hire a bike for a couple of hours as that seemed to be the done thing. Was a bit unsure at first but WOW I'm so glad I did it. The wall surrounding Lucca is really thick, So the top of the wall is (I'd guess) 15 meters wide. There are parks up on top of the wall and everything. So I set off on my bike and rode all the way around the continuous wall, it took about 45mins at a slow pace. This is one of the coolest things I've done, I really enjoyed it. After I'd circumnavigated the town on top of the wall I went down and rode all around the middle of town. Then as the sun was setting went back up on the wall and rode around again in the other direction with the sun setting against the backdrop of the city and mountains.

I really like Siena and Lucca because they are smaller, quieter towns. They are both really clean with not much graffiti, dog poo and rubbish in the streets. Both towns also have laws against begging and selling stuff on the street within their walls, I get that people have to try to survive and earn a living but its nice not to be constantly hassled for money.

The lady at the bike shop recommended a restaurant for dinner which turned out to be about 3 meters from my front door. For entree I had a baked artichoke and cheese dish which was delicious. For main I had pasta with deer sauce the pasta tasted home made and the chunks of venison were super soft and tasty. This was definitely one of the best meals I have had.

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017, 6:18 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 13:55

Siena - Torture Museum

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 12:55 p.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 12:38

Dinner - Polenta with wild boar sauce

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 11:38 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 11:46

Siena - People hanging out in the town square

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 10:46 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 11:08

Siena - Typical street

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 10:08 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 10:32

Siena - This is the oldest continuously used bank in europe

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 9:32 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 10:28

Siena - This is the symbol of Rome, Siena and heaps of other towns in this area. Its a she-wolf suckling two twin baby boys. The legend is that these boys grew up and founded Rome, then one (called Romulus) killed the other to become the king.

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 9:28 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 10:18

Siena - Saint Catherine's church, this is the one where her head is on display. Weren't allowed to take photos inside.

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 9:18 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 10:17

Siena - Duomo - Steps down to the Baptistery. The church was built on top of a hill that's not quite big enough for it.

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 9:17 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 10:13

Siena - Duomo - There were big plans to expand the cathedral, this is as far as they got when the plague hit.

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 9:13 a.m.

Sunday 19 Nov 2017 7:06

Day 29 Siena

Spent most of today roaming around Siena. It really is an amazing town. It was one of the more powerful towns in Italy in the Middle Ages and had huge rivalries with Florence. Then when the plague hit it wiped out half their population and they never recovered. The town remains unchanged simply because there wasnt enough money to upgrade it. Siena is divided into 17 districts, each one has its own flag which you can see as you walk around the town. People are really proud of their district, the different crests are everywhere! Every year they do a big horse race around the main square which is amazing because its quite small for racing horses. This has been going on for hundreds of years. One horse from each district races and the first horse over the finish line wins (even if the jockey has fallen off) They cover the roads in tonnes of compacted clay for the horses to run on and everyone piles into the square as the horses race around them. Unbelievable!

I finished the audio tour I had on my phone then went into a cathedral famous for having St Catherine's head. The Catholics really are big on displaying their saints body parts. As usual the church was beautiful.

I had lunch at a restaurant in the main square. I was brave again and chose a polenta cake with wild boar stew, and a carbonara with truffle topping. Both were very tasty although I couldn't finish the pasta. The boar was closer to beef than pork and was nice.

For something different I went into a museum that I had walked past earlier which was full of medieval torture things. A bit morbid but was a bit of a change from the usual museum stuff and art that I have seen a lot of recently.

The main square in Siena is used like a park, so by the afternoon people were lying on the bricks in the sun, kids and dogs running around etc. Its really cool and the view is great.

Posted: Nov. 19, 2017, 6:06 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 19:25

Siena - Rabbit and veg

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 6:25 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 19:06

Siena - Mushroom bruschetta, really good

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 6:06 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 16:23

Siena - This is the flag for this area

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 3:23 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 15:49

Siena - Museum - Mass underground grave

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 2:49 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 15:46

Siena - Museum - Random stairs that don't go anywhere

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 2:46 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 15:24

Siena - Museum - This is the most brutal piece of art I've seen so far. The way the medieval art depicts some bible scenes really is graphic.

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 2:24 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 15:00

Siena - Duomo - Baptistery

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 2 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 14:59

Siena - Duomo - Baptistery

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 1:59 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 14:57

Siena - Duomo - Crypts - You can see here where hundreds of years ago they built extra supports for the cathedral and covered over even more ancient frescos

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 1:57 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 14:37

Siena - Duomo - Me!

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 1:37 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 14:36

Siena

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 1:36 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 14:36

Siena - Duomo - View of the cathedral from on top of the museum

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 1:36 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:55

Siena - Duomo - Library walls

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:55 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:49

Siena - Duomo - Library ceiling

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:49 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:38

Siena - Duomo - Seriously disturbing floor art about killing babies

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:38 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:35

Siena - Duomo - This is a very important stick. Its a flag pole that they won in a battle with Florence 700 years ago. Its basically kept in the cathedral so they can continue to rub it in.

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:35 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:24

Siena - Duomo - Spiral staircase down from the roof

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:24 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:22

Siena - Duomo - View of the cathedral from up in the roof

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:22 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:15

Siena - St Catherine Cathedral

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:15 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:13

Siena - Duomo - Stain Glass window from the 1300's

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:13 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:06

Siena - Duomo - View from up in the roof

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:06 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 13:06

Siena - Duomo - Tour through the roof spaces

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 12:06 p.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 12:58

Siena - Duomo

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 11:58 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 12:56

Siena - Duomo - One of the chapel alters, the statue in the bottom right was done by Michaelangelo. He was supposed to do the whole thing but got sent to Rome to do the Sistine Chapel.

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 11:56 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 12:51

Siena - Duomo - These busts of old popes line the walls inside the cathedral

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 11:51 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 12:50

Siena - Duomo - This mosaic on the floor has an animal representing each major city in medieval times.

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 11:50 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 12:40

Siena - The Duomo (Cathedral)

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 11:40 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 11:33

Siena - This is the central point of Piazza del Campo. The whole area is on a slope in a shell shape. This is the draining point.

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 10:33 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 11:31

Siena - Town Hall Museum

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 10:31 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 11:08

Siena - Town Hall Museum

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 10:08 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:58

Siena - Town Hall Museum

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:58 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:54

Siena - Piazza del Campo

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:54 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:44

Siena - View of Piazza Del Campo from up the town hall bell tower. Check out that shadow!

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:44 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:44

Siena - View of the Cathedral from up the town centre bell tower

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:44 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:42

Siena - Me up the bell tower

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:42 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:41

Siena

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:41 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:38

Siena - Bell Tower

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:38 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:38

Siena

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:38 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:22

Siena - Fountain of Joy in the main square (Piazza del Campo)

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:22 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 10:15

Siena - This is the street I was staying on

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 9:15 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 8:47

Siena - View from room window. Not bad.

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 7:47 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 8:47

Siena - Breakfast delivered

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 7:47 a.m.

Saturday 18 Nov 2017 7:21

Day 28 Siena

Walked into the main square Piazza Del Campo. Julia who was on the tour with me recommended an app that you can do your own walking tour with, so I gave it a go (was a bit cringeworthy in places but overall really good) I went into the Palazzo Publico (Literally the public palace) and climbed up the bell tower for an awesome view of the city. Then went into the museum in the Palace. Was full of medieval type stuff and of course a heap of art.

Followed the app through the town over to the Siena Cathedral. This one is super impressive its similar to the one in Florence only not quite as big and I think more impressively decorated. Florence and Siena were big enemy's for hundreds of years and fought wars, etc so were always trying to out do each other. I got to do a tour up through the roof of the church. We went through a secret door near the entrance and up a really tight spiral staircase until we were up in the roof. There were walkways outside and inside and they had little museum bits set up along the way. Then went through the church's museum which is mostly original bits they have removed from inside the church, the museum ends with an area where you can climb up to the outside of the church again for a different view of the city. Around the back of the Cathedral I went into the Baptistery and crypts which were pretty interesting.

Across the square is a big museum. The building was a hospital for hundreds of years. It was the weirdest museum I've ever been in, heaps of winding underground tunnels with the occasional display and no signs or directions. I saw hardly any other people and a lot of the tunnels just lead to dead ends too. At one point I ended up underground in the middle of a mass burial grave site. Weird.

Went out for dinner as its easier to find a restaurant than a supermarket here. Decided to be brave and try the roast rabbit, was good.

Posted: Nov. 18, 2017, 6:21 a.m.

Friday 17 Nov 2017 15:21

Siena - Check out the ceiling of my hotel room

Posted: Nov. 17, 2017, 2:21 p.m.

Friday 17 Nov 2017 14:58

Siena - First look at the town square

Posted: Nov. 17, 2017, 1:58 p.m.

Friday 17 Nov 2017 14:41

Siena - Entering through the gate of Siena

Posted: Nov. 17, 2017, 1:41 p.m.

Friday 17 Nov 2017 10:30

Rome - Leaving Rome, thought this vine growing across the road was cool

Posted: Nov. 17, 2017, 9:30 a.m.

Friday 17 Nov 2017 9:54

Day 27 Rome to Siena

Today was just a travel day and a bit of a rest day.

I booked the bus to Siena instead of the Train which saved me $60!! And took 3 hrs to get there the same as the train! Unfortunately I went to the wrong bus station (my first travel cock up) and had to quickly get a taxi to the right one. Made just in time.

The bus trip was good. We went past heaps of little towns right up on the top of hills and surrounded by walls.

I made it to Siena and walked to the hotel. From the train station I had to take 10 escalators to get to the hill top where the town is!! Thank god I didn't try to take the stairs!

From what I've seen of the town so far it looks awesome, very very medieval and in really good condition. Tourist season has pretty much finished for the smaller towns now so there are hardly any people around, the flip side is that a lot of things are now closed for the winter.

Found the accomodation ok (even though all the instructions were in Italian) my room has a painted ceiling which is incredible. Am going to be so bored with the ceilings when I get home.

Just chilled for the evening and caught up on some sleep.

Posted: Nov. 17, 2017, 8:54 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 15:15

Rome - Castle of St Angelo

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 2:15 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 15:02

Rome - Castle of St Angelo - Crest in the marble floor

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 2:02 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 15:01

Rome - Castle of St Angelo - Old Popes bedroom

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 2:01 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:57

Rome - Castle of St Angelo - The very top of the castle

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:57 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:56

Rome - Castle of St Angelo - View of the Tiber River

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:56 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:38

Rome - Castle of St Angelo - The Armoury

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:38 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:34

Rome - Castle of St Angelo - View of the Tiber River

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:34 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:34

Rome - Castle of St Angelo

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:34 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:27

Rome - Castle of St Angelo - This is were a drawbridge used to be

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:27 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:21

Rome - Castle of St Angelo - Catapult!

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:21 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:17

Rome - Castle of St Angelo

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:17 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:16

Rome - Castle of St Angelo

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:16 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 14:15

Rome - Castle of St Angelo

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 1:15 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:58

Rome - Vatican City - St Peters Square

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:58 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:56

Rome - Vatican City - St Peters Square - For Angles and Demons fans its the West wind!

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:56 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:54

Rome - Vatican City - St Peters Square - Me

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:54 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:54

Rome - Vatican City - St Peters Square - The seating and stage is set up here for every Wednesday when the Pope comes out to talk to the people.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:54 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:47

Rome - Vatican City - St Peters Basilica - The Swiss guards, they are a specially trained force who protect the Pope. Because the Vatican is its own country they have their own laws, police, prison, etc.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:47 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:46

Rome - Vatican City - St Peters Basilica

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:46 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:18

Rome - Vatican City - St Peters Basilica - One of the altars, the columns here are 25metes high

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:18 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:18

Rome - Vatican City - St Peters Basilica - Only the Pope is allowed to walk up this strip in the middle of the church

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:18 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 13:11

Rome - Vatican - St Peters Cupola (Dome)

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 12:11 p.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 12:37

Rome - Vatican - View of St Peters square from top of the dome

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 11:37 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 12:35

Rome - Vatican - Me! At top of dome

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 11:35 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 12:34

Rome - Vatican - View of Rome from the top of the dome

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 11:34 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 12:33

Rome - Vatican - View of Vatican City from the top of the dome

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 11:33 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 12:32

Rome - Vatican - View of Rome from the top of the Dome

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 11:32 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 12:21

Rome - Vatican - Climbing the Dome - View into St Peters Basilica

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 11:21 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 12:19

Rome - Vatican - Climbing the Dome - got to see the mosaics in the ceiling up really close.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 11:19 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 11:38

Rome - Vatican - This is where the Pope lives

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 10:38 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 11:10

Rome - Vatican - This is Michaelangelos 'The Pieta'. He carved it from one piece of marble when he was only 25 years old. Its really famous as being one of his earliest works. Its behind bulletproof glass now because apparently some nutter jumped the railing in 1970 and took to it with a hammer and caused a huge amount of damage. They had to take pieces of marble out of the back of it to repair the front.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 10:10 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 10:19

Rome - Vatican - Famous painting by Rafael 'The School of Athens' The characters are Pythagoras, Aristotle, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Etc. The guy up the front leaning on a stone block is Michaelangelo. Him and Rafael hated each other but after Rafael snuck into the Sistine Chapel while it was still being painted to sneak a look at the art he was so impressed with Michaelangelos skill that he added him into this painting as 'one of the greats'. This made Michaelangelo hate him even more.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 9:19 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 10:18

Rome - Vatican - Is that a painting of Sylvester Stallone?!

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 9:18 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 10:00

Rome - Vatican - More incredible ceilings

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 9 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 9:55

Rome - Vatican - Hall of Maps, there are detailed maps of all areas of Italy painted onto the walls in here, they used to be used by the pope, etc. They are hundreds of years old but are still 60% accurate today. They contain invaluable information about towns, etc. that no longer exist.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2017, 8:55 a.m.

Thursday 16 Nov 2017 9:44

Rome - Vatican - Hall of Maps