This past week has been the best week so far! We climbed the Duomo, visited the medieval town of San Gimignano, and went to Siena. I forgot my camera for these trips, so I just had to use my phone and wasn’t able to get as good of pictures as I wish I had, though I’m still glad I was able to capture some good moments.
The chance to climb the Duomo of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore was incredible. While the climb was very steep at times (because you’re climbing between the inner and outer dome) and very twisty, it was definitely worth it. The view was absolutely breathtaking. My favorite part about being at the top was being able to see the various periods of architecture throughout the city from Gothic to Classical and Greek Revival to various Renaissance buildings. We were also able to tour the Santa Maria del Fiore and the baptistry. The golden mosaics and frescos were absolutely stunning and so intricate that it was hard to soak it all in.
My favorite trip we’ve taken so far was yesterday. We went to the bustling town of San Gimignano, a mostly intact medieval town. It had the best craftsman shops I’ve seen so far and the cutest little cafes. I enjoyed looking at all the ceramic shops with all types of kitchen wear, table tops, and pots and the cloth shops with intricately woven tablecloths, scarves, and handmade soap. I particularly loved all of the blue and yellow lemon patterns which are popular in this region of Italy. We also stopped by Gelateria Dondoli, voted best gelato shop in Tuscany! It definitely lived up to its title, too. My favorite flavor was rosemary & raspberries! While we only were able to spend half of our day there, I plan to go back sometime soon to get some tableware and other little trinkets, as well as visit more museums!
After visiting San Gimignano, we rode an hour to Siena. Siena is a much larger city, however, I liked it because it had a small town feel because the buildings are all medieval and not too much has changed. The most stunning part about the city is the Siena Cathedral. This cathedral is probably the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in! The outside is covered in elaborate sculptures and pink, white, and green marble; though, the outside pales in comparison to the elaborate interior. Black and white marble stripes, marble mosaics on the floor, sculptures everywhere, huge frescos . . . it’s absolutely stunning. Works by Michelangelo, Donatello, and Bernini are everywhere, and the pure size of the cathedral (which is even much smaller than originally intended) make the experience inside the church even more grand.
This next week, we will be traveling to Rome for a few days & then on to our first week of free travel! If anyone has any recommendations for sites to see, places to eat, or foods to try in Paris, Versailles, Barcelona, or Interlaken, please comment or send me a message! We would love to hear some suggestions!