Sunday, September 30, 2012

Photographically Beautiful Volterra and San Gimignano

Bon Journo Everybody,

SarteanoToday is Sunday, our last day in Radda di Chianti.  Today we head across the land to Sarteano where Clay and I are conducting our workshop. Everyone arrives at the castle today then we have Monday off and begin the class on Tuesday. Clay and I are both really looking forward to teaching together.  It will be a first for the both of us.  I'll keep you posted as to how the week progresses and hopefully have some nice images to share with you.

Photographically Beautiful Volterra and San Gimignano

Yesterday was a much more relaxed day than Friday.  We got a leisurely start on the day and headed first to Volterra, a magnificent Medieval city sitting atop one of the highest points in the area.  The vistas are spectacular!  Even though the weather has not been excellent for photographing the landscapes, even under the mostly gray, overcast skies the views were still amazing!

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The town too is a great place for photographs.  Just seeing these places built in the 1400's is a fascinating real-live-peek into history.  Volterra is the least "touristy" and more authentic of the two cities we visited yesterday.  The drive to Volterra in chocked full of some of the most amazing vistas to be seen in Italy.

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The city also plays home to the Vampires featured in the teen series Twilight.  We  never once spotted any vampires and felt safe wherever we ventured ;~)

0003- Europe12DAZ_2210Next it was onto to San Gimignano, a very "touristy" little town but still a cool Italy stop- the place was packed! And every 3 meters was another shop to sell you anything from Medieval trinkets and souvenirs, the local wine, and even some fine alabaster pieces that were truly beautiful.  Alabaster is indigenes to the area and was big in many of the shops both in Volterra and San Gimignano.

One again with camera blazing I caught some great shots of the Medieval towers the - city’s claim to fame - that the rich families lived and battled back in the days of old. Think Romeo and Juliet.  Height was an added safety factor for the always bickering wealthy.

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So How's the Driving In Italy?

0001- Europe12DAZ_2100You've seen the movies, you've heard the stories - driving is an adventure in this country.  The fact of the matter is that in the big cities like Rome and Florence, driving is a very chaotic, somewhat dangerous adventure for both driver and tourist.  But here in Tuscany driving is quite pleasant and fun.  I’m really enjoying driving between the hill towns of Tuscany have have a  " James Bond" feel about it.  Even with the the steering wheel on the same side of the car as in the states, and driving on the same side of the road as well makes the driving quite easy.  It's the  the super curvy roads at 50-90 kph (35-70 mph) and the stick shift - all the rentals have them over here - that gives that "Bond" feel to the driving.  I love it, BTW.

How about driving at night on those curvy roads - no problem.  They have so many reflectors on the road that the lanes are easy to navigate in spite of their snake like winding through the hills.  Heck, I enjoyed the driving so much, I even passed a few of the slow moving tourist many times on our journeys on Saturday ;~)


Hey gang, that's got to be it for me today.  We've got to pack up and get ready to hit the road again.  How about I check in with you as soon as I can once we get settled into our castle surrounds in Sarteano.

Have a great rest of the day and I'll see you soon.

Ciao, David