Thursday, 2 July 2015

Tuscany Part 1..........

Well Hello!!

I've finally found a little time to write a blog post!  The campaign is still ongoing and very involved but I'll write more about that some other time.

I know I said I would write about 2014's trip to Italy before 2015's but I've lost my notes and this one is more fresh in my mind so that's what you're getting folks. LOL

In May 2015 we enjoyed another fabulous holiday in Italy.    We had a very early morning flight to our destination, Chianciano Terme, Tuscany, so consequently we arrived just after lunch, which was great as it meant we had all afternoon and evening free.

Chianciano Terme, approx 500 metres above sea level,  is a spa resort with mineral water enriched with healing elements,  it's waters surface from five different types of springs. It is a unique health resort whose baths have been renowned since very ancient times.The earliest Etruscan findings date back to the 4th century BC and portray the Goddess Sillene. Unfortunately we had a very busy schedule for the 7 days we were there so didn't have time to sample the Spa, but we spoke to other guests who did and they thoroughly recommended it. 

This was the view from our balcony, it looks a bit dark but it brightened up.

Our first stop, after checking into our hotel, the Grand Plaza,  was a small restaurant/bar five minutes walk away, where we enjoyed a couple of cold beers and a lovely Mediterranean platter for lunch.

After lunch we headed back to the hotel to have a short rest before getting changed for dinner.

The following day was our only free day so we decided to take the bus up to the old town, Chianciano Vecchia or Paese, as is called the ancient town of Chianciano. Its aspect is very different from the modern quarter that has grown all around the Terme. It is situated on a hill and shows part of its medieval town walls and its ancient urban plan. 

The gate of the town is at the end of Via Dante, where stands Porta Rivellini with its elegant Renaissance structure.

Soon after the arch stands the Church of the Immaculate Conception, that once had the title of St. Mary of the Star (1455) and the title of death (1580) because it was given to the Brotherhood of Death. Here in the past there was the church of Borgo alle Taverne (1317), a hospital and a tower. The tower had to be restored in 1576, but it ruined and a new Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Star was built in the same place where in 1789 a fresco representing the Virgin Mary of the Peace was set up. According to some documents, the Virgin Mary of the Peace is one of the patron saints of the town and the fresco is attributed to Pietro Perugino or Pietro of Cortona; others, however, attribute it to Signorelli.  
At the end of Via Casini stands out the elegant and simple Bell Tower. Its structure is medieval, but it was adjusted in subsequent periods when a marble covering was added. On its façade you can admire the Medicis' coat of arms which was added when the domination of Florence get the definitive control of the town.

We loved the winding streets

 the architecture

and the fantastic views

We caught the local bus back which stopped virtually outside our hotel, arriving back with lots of time to enjoy a nice cappuccino and a brandy sitting on the swing on the front porch of the hotel, then a rest before dinner.

Join me for part two and our visit to the eternal city Roma!!


Flowerpot said...

I went to Tuscany about 25 years ago and it was magical then, though the holiday ended up like something out of a Merchant Ivory film!!

Beach Bum said...

Love Italy, one day the wife and I will go visit.

Cloudia said...

you lucky duckies!

( '>


Ron said...

OMG, these pictures are WONDERFUL! I love how they captured the "feel" of Italy. The architecture is amazing! And I love those winding streets and views of the countryside. Bellissima!

Even though I've never been to Italy, your pictures made me feel as those I was there! I have especially always wanted to visit Tuscany.

Thanks so much for sharing, m'dear! And I look forward to seeing the eternal city of Rome!

Have a super weekend!

Valerie said...

That's what I like about Italy - it's history. Thank you for this post, Pearl. It's somewhere I haven't been so I thoroughly enjoyed reading all about it. Now I'm looking forward to the next instalment - 'cause I HAVE been there and it will revive memories (again!).

Good to see you back blogging even if it's just for a short time.

A Lady's Life said...

Italy is such a nice place to visit.
I am sure you enjoyed it.
The wine and local food is so good.

Daryl said...

what a lovely place ... makes me want to go visit

Akelamalu said...

Oh do tell Flowerpot! X

I hope you do Beach, it's beautiful. X

Yesdwe are Claudia. X

Glad you enjoyed the photos Ron. You should visit Italy you would love it! x

Tuscany is beautiful Valerie, you should go see. Xx

Oh yes I agred LL the food and the wine are superb! X

Go Daryl you and your camera will adore it!