Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany covers a large region of Italy including Florence, however, this post focuses more on the country side south of Florence. There are a number of medieval cities that were visited, including but not limited to:

  • San Donato
  • Greve In Chianti
  • Panzano In Chianti
  • Siena
  • San Gimigiano
This list is incomplete because many places were visited at once, and I may have forgotten to geotag a few of them. The larger stops will be grouped in their own category, but because of the large number of smaller stops, it is easier to group those images into one section. This article is not necessarily in chronological order.

This may be the greenest countryside I have ever seen. While some of the sights I saw in the western United states back in 2009 could compare, none of them had centuries old villages established on hilltops. 

Our first stop from Rome was the hotel to regroup. We were staying at the Castello Del Nero, a 12th century castle converted to accommodate guests while providing an outstanding view of the Tuscany countryside. The weather in this part of the mountains was very dynamic; it would switch from sun to storm in an instant, and almost immediately back to sun with a rainbow or two in the process. It may have been the most beautiful countryside I have ever laid eyes on. A large private patio annexed our rooms, which really allowed us to appreciate the view even more. The photosphere below gives a good representation of the viewing conditions.

Castello Del Nero

Roughly a 180 degree viewing angle in this panorama

There must be a pretty good pot of gold over there somewhere

Views: Castello del Nero by Neil Caulfield


Siena was probably the biggest medieval city we saw on this part of the trip, and probably the most colorful.  There are 17 different counties (contrada) in current day Siena, down from their original 59. Each district has its own symbolic animal and color scheme, which are most frequently displayed on flags and ceremonial attire. You can read more about the counties by clicking here.

Part of a funeral ceremony, people from different counties dressed in their corresponding colors march with the funeral party.

Citizens of Siena place a flag over the county member's casket. This elaborate ceremony is only done for public officials of the city. 

A small utility vehicle rests in a medieval alley
Scooters parked in a narrow alleyway in Siena

Siena Cathedral. This is probably my second favorite exterior design of a Cathedral that I saw on the trip.
My first favorite was probably the facade of the Florence Cathedral, despite it being more Neo Gothic. 

I am going to find a way to import a Piaggio Ape' into the states

This might be my favorite interior. 

HDR photography is very helpful in bringing out all this detail. 

Elaborate ceiling work in a room off the main interior of the cathedral. Ancient literature in cases is displayed at eye level. 

Archways bridge various buildings together in a Siena alleyway. 

A single door along an outdoor stairway.

Winding alleyways make up a good portion of the city streets. 

Palazzo Pubblico.

View parts of Siena in a 3 dimensional space below:

Palazzo Pubblico.

Additional Photos

(Village 1)

Cheese Factory

A cargo van full of cheese product waits to be unloaded in the shop building. 

A cat strides in front of an unused truck on the cheese farm

A Tuscany cheese maker explains he and his siblings produce their different cheeses. 

 (Village 2)

(Village 3)

 (Village 4)

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