Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Italy Was Fabulous!!! -Part 2

Hello again everyone! Thanks for all the comments on Part 1's post! I appreciate you all so much. Due to the fact that I have so much to show and tell, there will be five parts to this blogging adventure of least I hope so.

Day 2: Pisa
This was the first day we had a class with Tim. The excitement was high, especially when he started passing out even more goodies to add to the kits he already shipped us. We were given stamp pads from Ranger that Tim designed just for us, that contained four Distress Inks that invoked the colors of Tuscany. Talk about feeling special! Tim also has a way of speaking that leaves you hanging on his every word. He is energizing and inspiring. He spoke from the heart when he told us to "Enjoy and remember the now!" It was a phrase we all took to heart, and will probably change the way we see things from now on. He wanted us to capture what was going on right then and there during every part of our trip, savoring every bit, and then transferring that into the Travel Journal we were going to put together using the many techniques he shared, as well as from some others in the class. We all shared what we were doing and what we had to put into the journal. It was fabulous the way everyone got along considering there were 50 of us. We were a tight knit group. 
I had many photos to share with you that I took during the classes and of Pisa, but as I never fail myself during a fabulous trip, I deleted them accidentally! I always do this, and I don't know how I manage it. I think my travel camera likes to play jokes on me, but I am not laughing! I will show you my journal, still in progress though, on my last post.
After the class, we boarded our super luxurious bus and headed to Pisa. Adriano, Marco, and Luca drove us all through Italy, sometimes down the narrowest of roads, and they were the best drivers ever!
Sorry, but these are all I have offer. I took some great shots...all lost! Sigh! After Pisa, we hopped on the Funiculare and trekked up the hill to Montecatini Alto for supper, which I showed you in the last post. 

Day 3: San Gimignano & San Donato Winery
After an amazing picturesque drive through Tuscany, despite the rain, we arrived at San Gimignano. It's a town filled with fabulous shops, old old buildings and churches, and narrow cobblestone streets that lead to them. However, it was raining heavily and the sidewalks and streets were slick. The moment I stepped off the bus, my comfy leather soled shoes took on a mind of their own and took me for a ride rather than me lead them. It was as if I was on skis...literally. The cobblestone parts were not as slick, but the flat concrete gave me a ride. If not for the courage of Tim and Ted of Stamper's Anonymous, I would have ended up in the hospital. At one point, Tim grabbed hold of my belt loop on my rain jacket right before I went sailing into a brick joke....BAHAHAHAHA! It was comical and unbelievable...I wish we had it on video. He really saved me that day! However, my old basketball injured knees decided to talk to me, so it was much slower going after that. The moment I was on cobblestone ground, I headed for the nearest rubber soled boot shop! I am now the owner of gorgeous Pine Needle Green leather boots with rubber soles! Bellisimo! 
The two views above where taken right along the short cobblestone wall here on the right.
Rain didn't stop us!
Although it's hard to see, the rain was coming down so heavily, and the thunder and lightning was something out of a horror movie. A river of white caps was literally flowing down the sides of the main street we walked up and now had to walk down. Most of us found shelter in a covered passageway that lead to housing areas, that was just off the main piazza. This is where this shot was taken.
We packed it up after about an hour in the rain, and headed to San Donato Winery. What an adventure that was, and I wouldn't have had it any other way, although I wish I could have seen more of the town.
Just beyond this gate was the most charming Winery, farm, and Villa ever...complete with a church!
I love this photo!
Their yard off of the back porch was filled with fruit trees and flowers!
This guy was very loved! He even had a home on the sofa when we walked in, and he has a statue in the yard.
Since the weather was rainy, they were running behind on their tours, and didn't have any dry places for us to sit, so we were invited into their own home. WOW!
They had vintage collectibles every where. It was eye candy, and exactly what you think would be inside of an Italian Villa. Then came the wonderful array of meats, cheeses, salads, and wine! YUMMY! The conversation was wonderful too!
Fuzzy photo, but I wanted you to see the set up of the food.
Paula and Pam hung on Tim's every word!
Then came the Vin Sucre for dessert. It was wonderful soft almond biscotti that we soaked in wine. Fabulous!
What an awesome day we had. The rest of the night, most of us wandered Montecatini and explored the shops and eateries.

Day 4: Siena
The next day was cloudy, but we never encountered rain again like that of the previous day. We were lucky! We headed to another special and historic place, Siena, the town that contains the church San Domenico, where the patron St. Catherine worked marvelous ways on the people that entered. It is truly a town that must be visited while in Italy. Amazing!
This is the old wall that surrounded the inner city. It is still in wonderful shape.
This is the sea shell shaped Piazza del Campo, where twice a year the town holds the Palio festival, which is a medieval style horse race, and the town's people really throw themselves into the activities. As a side note, the color Siena was deemed because of the color of the buildings around this Piazza. Cool huh!?!
I took these photos from a cafe where I ate lunch. They let me go out on the balcony and I enjoyed great views and it was very peaceful. People lay on the ground and soak up the sun which is quite interesting. Around the piazza is the main drag or walk way that takes you in a circle to all the shops. It's kind of like a wagon wheel, with the piazza in the middle, the shops on the first spoke, and residences, churches, and schools beyond that.
Palazzo Pubblico
The Tower of the Palazzo called Torre de Mangia
The Siena Cathedral or Duomo
This gorgeous piece is just on one of the regular street walls.
There are these cubby holes in the San Domenico where birds make their home.
The shopping circle.
The Tower of San Domenico
If you can't tell by now, I am in love with Italy...everything about the place! I wish I had a little villa somewhere in the rolling hills, or better yet my own winery!
After we left Siena, we had a night class with Tim, and we added and added to our Travel Journal. 
More to come. Thanks for coming along!


  1. Wow! I am sorry you lost some photos, but these are fabulous!

  2. Anita just fabulous! I saw the first post and didn't get a chance to comment. Thank You for sharing the details. To me they are evidence that you were remembering the now. What a great idea to enjoy the trip by. Really to live by. Looking forward to the rest of the Italy posts.

  3. Love this post... the photos are wonderful I feel I am there with you..Fabulous idea about the journal it will be spectacular ....Looking forward to enjoying more of your trip with you....Hugs May x x x

  4. Wow fantastic Pictures - thank you for sharing

  5. It feels a little like we are travelling with you through your photos Anita. You really have captured so much of the beauty and enjoyment of your trip. Such a shame you lost so many shots, but if you have been able to encompass your memories in your wonderful travel journal then at least you still have something to treasure of your time at Pisa. Looking forward to more. Jenny x

  6. You will be like me now, and have to watch " House Hunters International"! My hubby and I turn it on at dinner and always say we want a place in Tuscany, or even the south of France. Your photos are lovely, sorry you had camera trouble. I am glad you are ok and not hurt, but the image of Tim and Ted saving you from falling was a great one, knew they rocked, but who knew they were super heroes..ha ha. The buildings and fountains there just look divine! Thanks for sharing (now, I want breakfast after seeing all the yummy food!!)

  7. Been really enjoying your trip from the comfort of my couch. Keep showing us those photos. Really looking forward to them.

  8. sorry to hear about your photos...that would be a very big disappointment!!

  9. The photos you shared are amazing and the close up of the food plate, made me so hungry! Thank you for sharing and sorry about the ones you lost, but those memories will always be with you for sure!

  10. Thanks for sharing this amazing adventure!

  11. I can't believe you lost your photos, I would have been devastated!! Your pics of the winery are lovely. Poor you falling over, still at least you got some new boots. LOL. Love the Italy blogs, can't wait to see your journal

  12. Magnificent photos again Anita. I am so loving looking at these and reading your online journal of your visit. The architecture is just wonderful and I learned where the colour Siena comes from. Thanks so much for sharing.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  13. OMG,did you go on THAT trip to Italy! WOW! Lucky you. Nowi have to read post no 1 and all the others too. You were such a lucky bunchof people to go to Italy with Mario and Tim. Yes, Italy is a beautifulcountry, I was there as a child and I should go again. You made some wonderful memories and thanks so much for sharing themwith us!

  14. Stunning, stunning photos - the food looks amazing too, and I love that golden glow of the candlelight picture. What a nightmare to have lost some - though you still have many wonderful memories here.

    Sorry to hear about your "ice-skating" - but the new boots sound great!
    Alison xx

  15. Luscious! Glad you didn't get injured.

  16. Sorry to hear about the lost pics, hopefully you can get some from the rest of the team. These are wonderful, I love the way people are just sitting or lying on the ground in the piazza in Siena and I must say I like the sound of Italian green leather boots. ! X

  17. Oh my - have to go see all this one day!

  18. Such a treat seeing all these great pics. Sienna was one of my favorite places. So sorry about your knees.


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