Tag Archives: trip


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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Milan dates back to 400BC.  Today Milan is the 2nd largest metropolitan city in Italy. The population of the city proper is 1.3 million, while its urban area with a population estimated to be about 5.5 million  is the 5th-largest in the EU. Milan is the main industrial and financial centre of Italy, it has the 3rd-largest […]

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Villa Borghese

Our schedule for today is very relaxed.  A nice stroll through the Borghese gardens towards the Spanish Steps and a bit of shopping.  The Borgheses were  a wool merchant family from  Sienna.  The head of the family, Marcantonio, moved to Rome in 1541 and this Sienese family rapidly gained access to the upper echelons of Roman […]

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Villa Cimbrone

Imagine owning the entire mountain top of a peninsula on the Amalfi coast.  Small villa, pool and massive gardens.  Originally built in the 11th century the villa was rebuilt and reconstructed over the years passing from one family to the next.  The most extensive rebuilding and renovation was done at the start of the 20th […]

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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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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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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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Monte San Savino

Monte San Savino is a small town of about 8000 people and it is famous for two things.  First, it was one of the first urban settlements in Tuscany, Italy, which  originated around 1100.  Second Giulio Salvadori a poet and a literary critic was born there.  An interesting thing about Salvadori is that he covered to Christianity  in 1885. […]

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Last on the list today was a town of Radicofani. About 1100 people live in this village with has been restored in the 1990.  The village is dominated by a massive fortress on the top of the hill with a 37m tower.  There are two sets of defence walls at the fortress one pentagonal and […]

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St. Bavo’s Cathedral

The building is based upon the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, a primarily wooden construction; it was consecrated in 942 by Transmarus, Bishop of Tournai and Noyon. Traces of this original structure are evident in the cathedral’s crypt. The chapel was subsequently expanded in the Romanesque style in 1038. Some traces of this phase […]

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Ghent started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe with some 60,000 people in 1300 AD, 70,000 in 1400 growing to 175,000 Shortly after 1500 AD. Today it is a busy city with a port […]

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Main Square

The Markt (“Market Square”) of Bruges is located in the heart of the city and covers an area of about 1 hectare. Some historical highlights around the square include the 12th-century belfry and the Provincial Court (originally the Waterhall, which in 1787 was demolished and replaced by a classicist building that from 1850 served as […]

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Around Amiens

The first known settlement is Samarobriva (“Somme bridge”), the central settlement of the Ambiani, one of the principal tribes of Gaul. The town was given the name Ambianum by the Romans, meaning settlement of the Ambiani people. The town has been much fought over, being attacked by barbarian tribes, and later by the Normans. In […]

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Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral is situated on a ridge overlooking the River Somme in Amiens and it is the 19th largest church in the world. Medieval cathedral builders were trying to maximize the internal dimensions in order to reach for the heavens and bring in more light. In that regard, the Amiens cathedral is the tallest complete […]

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Church of St. Ouen

The Church of St. Ouen is a large Gothic Roman Catholic church in Rouen, northern France, famous for both its architecture and its large, unaltered Cavaillé-Coll organ, which Charles-Marie Widor described as “a Michelangelo of an organ”. Built on a similar scale to nearby Rouen Cathedral, it is, along with church of Saint Maclou, one […]

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Mont St. Michel

Mont Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy. It is located approximately one kilometre off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. 100 hectares (247 acres) in size, the island has a population of 44. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times, and since the eighth century […]

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The Bridges

You have to admire the architects and civil engineers here.  Someone apparently decided to take a whimsical approach to road works and built these two bridges to look like the road is a part of a roller coaster ride. One is twisted and the other steep like a mountain.  I am sure there is a reason […]

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Back to France

This morning we are leaving The Netherlands and are heading for France.  This is going to be our first time to northern France.  Off to Normandy we go, but because we are not in a huge rush we are taking it easy with a stop for some sight seeing and breakfast.  If we are not […]

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We are in Metz

We have arrived – in fabulous Metz. Metz has a rich 3,000-year-history, having variously been a Celtic oppidum, an important Gallo-Roman city, the Merovingian capital of the Austrasia kingdom, the birthplace of the Carolingian dynasty, a cradle of the Gregorian chant, and one of the oldest republics of the common era in Europe.  The city has […]

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Way Home

It is hard to capture the beauty of this road from a moving car.  The views are simply breathtaking and spectacular, and I think for this reason alone we prefer to drive to these destinations.  Tuscany is gorgeous, with its golden hills and winding roads, cypresses and vineyards and villas and towns perched on the top of […]

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