Tag Archives: Travel

Montalcino for Lunch

There appears to be about a thousand wine shops in this village.  There are places where you can sample over 100 wines in a single wine store.  It’s bonkers!  However, our search is for some food, because it has been at least 3 hours since our last meal, and to find another gelato place, because […]

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Back to Siena

We are back to Siena.  Unlike our last time here, this time it is all about sitting around and taking in the sights.  We did go and visit a couple of places, but mostly we just ate, sat around and admired the views – including the Piazza del Campo and Siena Cathedral.  

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Today we are travelling to Sant’ Anna in Camprena. We stayed here last year in the spring and loved it so much we thought we would come back and bring some friends with us to enjoy.  However, because the drive from Rome to Camprena is not long we are taking some detours.  First on the […]

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Simply WOW!

Every time we go out for a game drive there is something new.  This morning was the best one yet.  We sit in the Land Cruiser in total amazement and astonishment as the Savannah life simply unfolds in front of our eyes.  It seems that every 3 or 4km the landscape is totally different, from […]

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This is the last stop in Switzerland.  Apparently I can’t count to 5 so I booked us in for 4 nights. Needless to say a day before check out we needed to find a room for one more night.  Booking.com to the rescue and this is how we ended up in this village.  Dating back […]

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Thun is a small city of about 45,000 residents.  The area of what is now Thun was inhabited since the Neolithic age mid 300 BC. Like most Europe and Switzerland it was conquered by Rome in 58BC.  In 1819 a Military School was founded in the city, which later developed into the main military school in […]

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Lausanne Cathedral

The construction of the  Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne began as early as 1170 by an original unknown master mason. Twenty years later another master mason restarted construction until 1215. Finally a third engineer, Jean Cotereel, completed the majority of the existing cathedral including a porch, and two towers, one of which is the current […]

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The city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, 62 kilometres northeast of Geneva. Lausanne has a population  of 146,372, making it the fourth largest city in Switzerland. Lausanne is a focus of international sport, hosting the International Olympic Committee, which recognizes the city as the “Olympic Capital”. Since 1994 the Court of Arbitration for Sport and some 55 international sport associations […]

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Magdalena Hermitage

Directly overlooking the Lake Schiffenen is a carved out cave measuring 120 meters which was chiseled out in the rock by two hermits around 1700.  The floor, as it was recently discovered, is actually a fossilized sandstone dune from prehistoric times. The dwelling in the cliff was later expanded to its current size by the hermit Johann Dupré and his […]

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Fribourg Cathedral

The Gothic Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Fribourg  dominates the centre of the medieval town. The main church was started in 1283 and completed by 1430. The tower was completed in 1490. It is 76 metres tall and houses 11 bells.  Originally a parish church, in 1945 it became the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva […]

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Fribourg is located on both sides of the river Saane, and is an important economic, administrative and educational centre on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland. Fribourg also has one of the most prestigious universities in Switzerland.  Its Old City, is one of the best maintained in Switzerland. There is a very old funicular […]

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We have arrived in Switzerland.  Once you pass the tunnels and the trains the views open up – no matter where you look the vistas are spectacular.  Interesting note, in Italy, the fastest drivers on the highway are either from Germany or Switzerland.  The posted highway speed is 130km/h the Swiss will do 150 to 160km/h.  The moment […]

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MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture in Rome and is about 5 min walk from the gorgeous apartment we are staying in. The museum was built on the old and decommissioned military compound site.  This spectacular building was designed by Zaha Hadid who passed away this […]

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Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.  The city was lost and forgotten for about 1500 years.  It was […]

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Path of the Gods

We set out for a short walk, from the village of Agerola to Priano – it turned out to be about 8.5km.  Path of the Gods is one of the most famous and most spectacular trails in Italy with stunning view of the Amalfi coast and its towns, mainly Positano, Priano and Amalfi.  There are […]

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Divina Costiera

We are finally here… We are checked into Divina Costiera which is located in the Latter Mountains, 2 km outside Agerola.  We are really really hight up in the mountains, it is 10:44 and it is 26C and humid! It’s beautiful, despite the heat.                         […]

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Notre-Dame de la Garde

Notre-Dame de la Garde (literally Our Lady of the Guard), is a Catholic basilica in Marseille, France. The basilica was build on the foundations of an ancient fort. The fort was located at the highest natural elevation in Marseille, a 149 m (490 ft) limestone outcrop on the south side of the Old Port of Marseille. The basilica […]

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Marseille is the oldest continuously inhabited city in France, it is a second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon.  Humans have inhabited Marseille and its region for almost 30,000 years, it was the first Greek settlement in France.  It is […]

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After the city folk found their way of the forest, we immediately stopped in the first available town to have some well earned gelato.  Lourmarin is a small village of 1000 people which has been settled for at least a thousand years, and was probably a Neolithic campsite before that.  A dominating fortress was first […]

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Pont Julien

The original bridge on this road was built in 3BC and it was a wooden structure which was swept in one of the floods.  The bridge was part of the Via Domitian road which was a quick way to connected Rome with the southern France.  The bridge was eventually replaced with an arched stone bridged with two […]

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Roussillon, Vaucluse

Roussillon is a tiny but a picturesque village of about 1300 residents.  It is famous for the rich deposits of ochre pigments, mostly red, yellow and orange,  found in the clay near the village. The large quarries of Roussillon were mined from the end of the 18th century until 1930. Roussillon is located within the […]

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Today, after lazing around after breakfast, and then lounging by the pool for a couple of hours,  we decided to take a little lavender drive through Provence.  As it turns out we are a bit late to the lavender party as the first harvest has already been taken and the new  flowers are not going to […]

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Aix Cathedral

The cathedral is located on the route of the Roman road, the Via Aurelia. A fragment of a Roman wall and the columns of the baptistery seem to be the origin of the legend that the church was built on top of a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo.  According to the Christian tradition, the first […]

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Aix-en-Provence name comes from a Roman consul, Sixties Calvinus, who gave his name to Aquae Sextiae, “the Baths of Sixties,” a site of thermal springs in 123BC. Aix-en-Provence has about 140,000 residents and is generally considered a university town.  There are great many sights to see here.  The Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with […]

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The origin of this town dates back to 800 BC.  More importantly though the town was taken by Romans  in 123 BC and as Romans do they build a lot of cool buildings. The Gallo-Roman theatre, the arena or amphitheatre, necropolis, Arles Obelisk and Barbegal aqueduct and mill to name few.  Most of the old Roman buildings are being […]

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Second stop on the way to the Abbey is the village of Gordes.  We really happened upon it simply because of its spectacular and dominating hill-top presence.  Like most villages in this region, it has strong ties to the Roman empire.  First castle here was built in 1031 and the first abbey in 1148.  The […]

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Musee d’Orsay

Musee d’Orsay is located in an old converted railway station right across the river from the Louvre.  It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, […]

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More Paris

So another busy day in Paris. A bit of shopping, a lot of walking, a lots of snacking but generally relaxing.  Today we climbed 24 floors, mostly getting up to the Pantheon and walking up the hill  by Sorbonne, and walked about 23,600 steps which is about 13.6km.  Good workout!  

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Bagno Vignoni

Our last tourist stop on this trip is the ancient village of Bagno Vignoni located in the heart of Tuscany, in the Val d’Orcia Natural Park.   At the heart of the village instead of the usual piazza is the “Square of sources” – a huge hot springs pool dating back to the sixteenth-century.  This spot was […]

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Vitaleta Chapel

If you have ever seen a calendar of Tuscany, postcards or even some promotional material chances are you have seen Vitality Chapel in at least one of the pictures.  The chapel of Our Lady of Vitality originally built around 1590 is located on a private property on the road between Pienza to San Quirico d’Orcia and […]

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Back to Siena

This is our third visit to Siena.  We always find something new to see and to do. After two hectic days of driving around and looking at towns and villages today we are taking it easy.  This time around in Siena, we decided to climb the Torre del Mangia which is 88m in height – same […]

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Sant’Anna in Camprena

Sant’Anna in Camprena is in the heart of Tuscany – about 6km from Pienza.  It is a monastery from the 15th century perched on the top of hill with spectacular views of the rolling Tuscan hills.  The buildings are beautiful, the garden is huge and the food is simply amazing.  Having said that this place would be nothing if it […]

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Foiano della Chiana

Relatively speaking this is a large town compared to some of the smaller villages we visited.  There are about 10K people living in Foiano della Chiana today.  This is also an agricultural town which used to be surrounded by marshes on three sides, and not a hill top town like all others.  If it was […]

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Today is day two of – what else can we eat?!, I mean what other wonders of cultural significance can we find on a morning drive across Tuscany.  First stop, Cortona.  Some say the first settlement started 273 years after the great flood.  The earliest recorded history is from the 7th century BC.  Cortona then […]

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San Quirico d’Orcia

Today we started a medieval tour of Tuscany.  First stop a small town of San Quirico d’Orcia located half way between Pienza and Montalcino.  The town gain it’s notoriety in medieval times as it was on a pilgrimage route connecting  northern Europe to Rome.  Today the town is a host to a 3 day wine tasting extravaganza where 17 local […]

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Radda In Chianti

Located about 11 km from Castellini in Chianti is an even smaller village of Radda with 1700 inhabitants.  It still takes about 20 min to drive here because the roads are narrow and twisty and suicidal when wet.  The town is nice, the views simply spectacular and my shoes are still soaking wet, and I swear to […]

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Castellina in Chianti

Castellini is a small village in Tuscany located between Florence and Sienna.  The first settlement in the area dates back to 800BC and the current village dates back to 1100s. Perched on the top of a hill and surrounded by olive trees and vineyards this is a quaint little town with great wine, cheese and olive oils which […]

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Around Florence

Since we visited Florence before we were able to skip a lot of the major landmarks and attractions and simply concentrate on things we have not seen yet.  Having said that, it is nearly impossible to be in Florence and walk by the main cathedral and ignore it – it is simply stunning and quite spectacular. […]

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Penza is a birthplace of Aeneas Salvias Piccolomini who later became Pople Pius II. Once he became Pope, Piccolomini had the entire village of Corsignano rebuilt and renamed to become an ideal Renaissance town. The place was intended as a retreat from Rome, and it represents the first application of humanist urban planning concepts.  The humanist […]

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Back to Amsterdam

WOW, it’s been quite a while since we posed anything on here.  Having said that we are back on the road again travelling a bit.  Short break, nine days in total – destination Tuscany.  We did what all responsible parents would naturally do, leave the kids in school and in charge of the house and […]

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Masters Class

Masters Class

I finally got around to getting these uploaded, converted and here they are for you to enjoy.  While at Villa Medici, this was the Masters of Piano graduating class, with formalities of the evening being done, everyone was a lot more relaxed and the music they got out of that wooden box with strings and […]

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