When I was in Siena, Italy last week with the WXXI Travel Club, I picked up a copy of an historical novel by Marina Fiorato. Called Daughter of Siena, it traces the fate of a young woman in the Tuscan hill town during the Palio, a chaotic annual horse race in which jockeys circle the town’s central piazza. Set in 1723, the main character watches her betrothed die during the
After the serenity of the Italian Lake District and the leafy loveliness of Lucca, Florence was a bit of a shock to me. First of all, we walked in on a feast day with parades, games, and fireworks celebrating the patron saint of Florence, Saint Giovanni Battista. Second, it was garbage day. Refuse under the hot Tuscan sun smells like refuse everywhere.
Thank you for following this journal. The WXXI Travel Club has arrived in Tuscany, and my thoughts are spinning in a thousand directions. We’ve been on a medieval whirlwind: a few hours in Sienna, a day in Florence, a rush into the Tuscan hill town San Gimignano. My feelings trace an involuntary path that might make for more interesting reading for you than a laundry list of s
For me, the second day in the resort town of Stresa, Italy unfolded in flashes of detail; a tiny green fern growing out of a crack in the wall, a clear glass of grappa, two girls in bikinis playing with dogs on the beach. A train carried us through the mountains, across the border north into Locarno, Switzerland for lunch.