Piazza del Campo in Siena

1 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Palio di Siena on Piazza del Campo © flickr.com - Mirco/cc-by-sa-2.0

Palio di Siena on Piazza del Campo © flickr.com – Mirco/cc-by-sa-2.0

Piazza del Campo is the main public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The and its Torre del Mangia, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza. At the northwest edge is the Fonte Gaia. The twice-a-year horse-race, Palio di Siena, is held around the edges of the piazza. The piazza is also the finish of the annual road cycling race Strade Bianche.   read more…

Massa Marittima in Tuscany

25 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Markus Bernet/cc-by-sa-2.5

© Markus Bernet/cc-by-sa-2.5

Massa Marittima (Latin: Massa Veternensis) is a town and comune of the province of Grosseto, southern Tuscany, Italy, 49 km NNW of Grosseto. There are mineral springs, mines of iron, mercury, lignite and copper, with foundries, ironworks and olive-oil mills. In Follonica, on the coast, there are furnaces where the iron ore of Elba is smelted.   read more…

The House of Machiavelli in Tuscany

1 February 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Sailko/cc-by-3.0

© Sailko/cc-by-3.0

The house of Machiavelli (Italian: Casa di Machiavelli), also referred to as L’Albergaccio, was the place where Niccolò Machiavelli lived during his exile from Florence. This is located in Sant’Andrea in Percussina in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, in the province of Florence in Tuscany.   read more…

Porto Ercole on Monte Argentario

8 October 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Porto Ercole panorama © Matteo Vinattieri/cc-by-3.0

Porto Ercole panorama © Matteo Vinattieri/cc-by-3.0

Porto Ercole is an Italian town located in the municipality of Monte Argentario, in the Province of Grosseto, Tuscany. It is one of the two major towns that form the township, along with Porto Santo Stefano. Its name means “Port Hercules“. Today, Porto Ercole is a tourist magnet during summers, while during winters most facilities are closed. The town has two harbours: Porto Vecchio, the old town’s port, and Cala Galera, located in a northern bay. The resort is located on the eastern side of Monte Argentario promontory, and is 40 kilometres (25 miles) far from Grosseto, 7 km (4.3 mi) from Orbetello and about 12 km (7.5 mi) from Porto Santo Stefano. To the north of Porto Ercole are located the Laguna di Orbetello and the Tombolo della Feniglia, the 6 km long beach to the south of Porto Ercole.   read more…

San Gimignano, Tuscany’s medieval Manhattan

11 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Vignaccia76/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Vignaccia76/cc-by-sa-3.0

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline”. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant’ Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The “Historic Centre of San Gimignano”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town also is known for the white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the ancient variety of Vernaccia grape which is grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area.   read more…

The sail training ship Amerigo Vespucci

24 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

Americo Vespucio in Venice © Celio Maielo/GFDL

Americo Vespucio in Venice © Celio Maielo/GFDL

The Amerigo Vespucci is a tall ship of the Marina Militare, named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Its home port is Livorno in Tuscany, and it is in use as a training ship. In 1925, the Regia Marina ordered two school ships to a design by General Lieutenant Francesco Rotundi of the Italian Navy Engineering Corps, inspired by the style of large late 18th century 74-cannon ships of the line (like the neapolitan ship “Monarca”). The first, the Cristoforo Colombo, was put into service in 1928 and was used by the Italian Navy until 1943. After World War II, this ship was handed over to the USSR as part of the war reparations and was shortly afterwards decommissioned. The second ship was the Amerigo Vespucci, built in 1930 at the (formerly Royal) Naval Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia (Naples). She was launched on February 22, 1931, and put into service in July of that year.   read more…

Grosseto in Tuscany

11 December 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Porto Romano dell'Isola di Giannutri © Aldo Ardetti/cc-by-sa-3.0

Porto Romano dell’Isola di Giannutri © Aldo Ardetti/cc-by-sa-3.0

Grosseto is a city and comune in the central Italian region of Tuscany, the capital of the Province of Grosseto. The city lies 14 kilometres (9 miles) from the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the Maremma, at the centre of an alluvial plain on the Ombrone river. It is the most populous city in Maremma, with 83,000 inhabitants.   read more…

The fashionable seaside resort of Forte dei Marmi

14 October 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Forte dei Marmi © flickr.com - Thomas Hawk/cc-by-sa-2.0

Forte dei Marmi © flickr.com – Thomas Hawk/cc-by-sa-2.0

Forte dei Marmi is a sea town and comune in the province of Lucca, in northern Tuscany. The population of the town, amounting to some 7,700, nearly triples during the summer, because of the hundreds of tourist. It is the birthplace of Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Queen of the Belgians from 1993 to 2013.   read more…

Massa and Marina di Massa in Tuscany

19 July 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Sailko/cc-by-2.5

© Sailko/cc-by-2.5

Massa is a town and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, the administrative centre of the province of Massa and Carrara. It is located in the Frigido River Valley, near the Apuan Alps, some 5 km (3 mi) from the Tyrrhenian Sea, about 114 km west of Florence.   read more…

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