Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lucca beautiful Tuscan city

St Michael the Archangel

A trip to Lucca was on my list and I decided to visit for a day. I hopped a train and it was a pretty short trip to Lucca, which name means illuminated glade; is located on the Serchio river and is surrounded by ancient walls that date back to 17th century and beautiful cobblestone streets. I would have liked to walk some of the ancient Wall but with my knees did not even try. It was a short walk from the train station to the walled city of Lucca. 

I was awestruck by the beautiful church San Michele in Foro. The church dating from the 12th century is a Romanesque church with its magnificent marble facade which is considered to be one of he finest examples of Pisan  Romanesque style. On the top of the church was a statue of St Michael the Archangel I went inside and walked around admiring the art work, and for some reason one of the men depicted on the ceiling reminded me of George Carlin and I named him St George. 

San Michele in Faro

Madonna and Child
St Michael in Foro by Andrea della Robbia

"george carlin angel"

Yours truly St Michael Church

St Martin Cathedral

St Martin and the beggar

San Giusto church 

Altar San Giusto church 

I next came across the Basilica of San Frediano, Frediano was an Irish bishop of Lucca early 6th century and he had a church built on the spot which was dedicated to St Vincent who was a martyr from Zaragoza Spain. Frediano was buried in the church and it was renamed SS Frediano and Vicenzio. The amazing huge mosaic of Christ with two angels is by Berlinghiero Berlingheri

The cathedral San Martino was beautiful it had Romanesque facade it was rebuilt in the 13th century. As I went inside the famous 13th century carving of St Martin and a beggar caught my eye and the tomb of of Illaria del Caretto 15th century with the beautiful dog in marble.

Basilica of San Frediano

Chiesa e Bassistero di San Diovsnnie e Santa

St Martin Cathedral

the Holy Face

entrance to the walled city of Lucca


Monday, April 10, 2017

A visit to Siena and it's beautiful Cathedral

Hopped an early train to Siena one of the places I really wanted to visit. I was very surprised when I arrived in Siena and walked to the cathedral to see a huge group standing outside the Cathedral of Santa Maria Asssunta. There were various officials and police and they raised a flag, I never was able to find out just what it was about.  The Cathedral was closed until the ceremony was completed. Walking inside the Cathedral I was truly amazed. The floor has been described by the most beautiful largest and most magnificent that was ever made. There are 56 panels and took between 14th and 18th centuries to be completed with the exception of one they were created by Siena's  leading artist, Domenico Beccafumi

I since found out that they are not always open for viewing and are covered up most of he year so I feel lucky to have seen them. The Cathedral was begun in the 12th century it was completed in 1380. Originally the plan was for a massive basilica, the largest in the world but they did not have enough funds due to war and plague. 


raising the flag

top of the Cathedral 

Pope Heads 

amazing floors of the cathedral

After visiting the amazing Cathedral I headed up hill, (Siena is an uphill place) and stopped at the Palazzo Pubbico. There was a fountain that birds were landing on Fonte Gaia  which was by Jacopo delia Quercia built 1336. I walked around for awhile and found the home of Catherine of Siena so I went in and visited I was taking a photo but was told I was not allowed to.  I could see another cathedral not too far away but by this time I was just too tired to walk to it and decided it was time to head back to Florence. 

The Fonte Gaia In Piazza del Campo