our Journey

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Sunday, June 17, 2012



My David!

 We had a day to spare and so we decided to take the train to Florence to revisit all that good tourists should. The hundreds of trinket/souvenir stalls led to where the throngs of people were milling around or lining up to take in some culture.

The buildings and cathedrals are still amazing to wander around and as at Pisa we were not prepared to stand in a queue for an hour or more to see everything again.

Still, the views around the city were beautiful.

The Duomo door
looking from Ponte Vecchio

So we chose to visit an excellent exhibition of American Art. Apparently many Americans spent time in Italy around the late 19th and early 20th C and developed a passion for Impressionism.

a delightful American Impressionist painting by Frank Benson

Most of the works were brilliant, and quite surprising to see artists such as Mary Cassatt featured. The exhibition highlighted family images and a more relaxed interpretation of women in society.

The second, more contemporary American exhibition was somewhat mixed.

Lots of experimental shapes/bodies covered in macrame and stuffed toys, plus these amazing 'American Dream' house scenarios. Some were in glass cases and spheres, others open. They appeared to reflect the artist's feelings about the disastrous housing bubble that burst during the Global Financial Crisis.

Beautifully crafted and quite thought provoking.


Siena was about getting lost.

Firstly, about getting lost on the bus to the city centre which we missed by 5 kms. Secondly getting lost in the endless weaving streets that seemed to have no connection to the maps we had.

Thirdly, getting lost in thought about the spectacle of the historic horse race, the Palio di Siena,  that is run around the Piazza del Campoin twice a year.

one of the very narrow streets

So after another exhausting day we went back to the boat to enjoy canalling and taking it easy.

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