Saturday, December 5, 2009

A tourist at last!

Drum roll, please. I finally had gelato today and am posting a picture for your viewing pleasure. It was delicious. I believe the flavors were mint and hazelnut.

I wonder what it says about me that I write about gelato before the historic cathedral that I visited today. Hmmm . . .

Well, I did see the famous Duomo in Siena, and rented a little audio tour headset and everything. The pictures say more than I can. It's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that this place took hundreds and hundreds of years to complete. The original plan was to build one much larger, to out-do the one in Florence (there's always been a rivalry between the two cities), but the outbreak of the plague wiped out too many people and too much money for it to ever be completed. So they had to settle with this little thing.

It's impossible with a little point-and-shoot camera to capture all of the detail, especially on the inside, but here are a couple of pictures that hopefully convey some of the grandeur and beauty of it.

I also toured a museum that was attached, but photos weren't allowed inside. The best part, though, in my opinion, was the view from the top. The rolling hills of Tuscany are not just something that painters have imagined - they really do exist! You can see them in the background below. The open space with the tall tower is the main piazza in Siena, called Piazza del Campo (which is where I ate my gelato).

I've got lots more pictures, but it takes forever to upload them to blogger. Maybe once I'm home I'll have a screening for anyone who is interested. We can order Dominos, buy a box of wine, and pretend we're there.

I'm in Florence now. The train ride was seamless, I'm happy to report, and the hotel is adorable. Tomorrow I am going to see the Uffizi museum and hopefully do a little shopping. Monday I've got 3 school visits to cram in, and then on Tuesday I go to Milan. The 8th (Tues) is a holiday in Italy, so it will pretty much be just a travel day for me - most things will be closed. I didn't realize that when I was planning my trip, which is why I'm having to fit 3 schools into one day.

Over halfway finished! Now that I'm finally over jet lag I wish I could go back and experience Rome again. Those first couple of days are a blur of being lost and nauseous a lot. Maybe another day . . .

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the conflict between quality and upload times - more quality = slower uploads.the pixel grid inside your camera is probably 1600 columns by 1200 rows of photosensors, so about 1.920,000 pixels or call it 2 million. If you use a program like Paint to cut each by 50%, the file will save (AS- NEVER OVERLAY YOUR ORIGINALS! Add a letter to the end of the file name!) to a file size 3 or 4 time smaller. which will therefore upload 3 or 4 times faster. But you do not get to zoom the smaller picture as much, so really keep your originals! If everyone is loving the incredible detail of your pics, you might not want to change to the "shrink-em" plan at all, and accept fewer but better pics. They are really great!