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Montechiaro Estate, Tuscany

Not far from Siena, we stayed on the Montechiaro Estate for the night and enjoyed some wine tasting and beautiful views. The family has a winery, a family church, and villas. In 1720, the family bought the local castle and village, Monteriggioni castle, where they have restaurants and a wine shop; unfortunately, we didn’t have time to venture to the castle.

The family house  – an 18th century villa2016april22_tuscany_hayley-1

Wine and Olive Oil tasting

The family church

Our villa

We stayed in the Villa Capanna. These photos are of the villa, the views, and some of the other buildings on the estate. Siena can be seen in the distance.

Complete album: Dianne’s Flickr album.

Hayley’s Flickr album.

Next stop = Rome.

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Siena

To get into the historical centre of this stunning town, we parked our rental car outside the old city and then rode a series of indoor escalators to get up the hill. My full photo album is at www.flickr.com/photos/97210148@N08/albums/72157674701771213.

Piazza del Campo

The main public square, a shell-shaped piazza, of the historic centre of Siena; a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The twice-a-year horse-race, Palio di Siena, is held around the edges of the piazza, and has featured in the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

Palazzo Pubblico (town hall) and Torre del Mangia (tower)

Built in 1338-1348, the 88 meter tall tower was built to be exactly the same height as the Siena Cathedral as a sign that the church and the state had equal amounts of power. Literally meaning ‘Tower of the Eater’.

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The Fonte Gaia (“Fountain of the World”)

An endpoint of the system of conduits bringing water to the city’s centre. Built in 1419 it replaced an earlier fountain completed about 1342. The side reliefs depict episodes from Genesis: The Creation of Adam and The Flight from the Garden of Eden. The wolves spouting water, represent the mother-wolf of Remus and Romulus.

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Medieval streets of old Siena

Duomo in Siena (Siena Cathedral)

Built between 1215 and 1263 on the site of an earlier structure, the gothic cathedral is in the form of a Latin cross with a slight projecting dome and bell tower. The exterior and interiors are decorated in white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes, black and white being the symbolic colors of Siena.