Traveling Beyond the Postcard

Monthly Archives: June 2019

June 24th is the day that Florence celebrates its patron saint, John the Baptist. San Giovanni day is a big holiday in the city. The day starts out with a parade and special mass at the Cathedral of Santa Maria Fiore. It is also the day of the Calcio Storico final tournament. The day is finished off with a big fireworks show. What is Calcio Storico? It’s an archaic form of football,… Read More

What a great place to visit! The palace itself is stunning, it contains some wonderful artwork, the courtyard here is where Donatello’s David originally stood (what a sight it must have been with it’s gold hair gleaming in the sunlight!), there is an archaeologic display as excavations are being carried out beneath the building and to top it off they currently have a photography exhibit titled “Heroes” and an exhibit of work… Read More

Our weekend in Rome was exhausting. Miserable and wonderful both. The weather was very hot and humid and shade was not often found. Our guide, Angela Orberer made it magic with all of the wonderful information that brought the history alive. On our first day in Rome we visited the Vatican City museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peters’s Basilica. It was so hot and the museum was miserably crowded. The museum is… Read More

We were lucky to have a wonderful guide take us to two wineries in the Chianti region for a wine and olive oil tasting. Our guide was Todd Bolton ( He is very knowledgeable about the wines and a super nice person as well. Interestingly his parents work in the wine industry in Amador County! The first thing he told is that Chianti is a place… not a type. The Chianti region… Read More

One of the wonderful things about Florence is its accessibility. You can walk most places (especially if you are more fit than I!) and you can easily orient yourself with the Duomo and the Arno River. Several times I have just started walking in a new direction to see where I end up. I found the Santa Maria Novella, The Hard Rock Cafe and the Oblate Library and Basilica della Santissima Annunziata… Read More

These are both beautiful cities where you really feel their medieval history. They are small towns that feel relatively unchanged. In Siena we first visited the Basilica of San Domenico. We had a guide for our Siena visit provided by the city. They do not allow outsiders to give tours. I will just say that her focus was Catholicism and the superiority of Siena to Florence. I quit listening early on. The… Read More