Italy Vacation 2003
Day 16, Monday, Oct. 20th

Today's travels start with the final optional tour to San Gimignano. After this we went to a very rainy Siena and then onto Rome completing the loop started 15 days ago. After getting checked into the hotel (same one as before) we then went to see the Trevi Fountain and the Papa Rex Restaurant for the farewell dinner. Here is a map of today's journey.

Yesterday I started to suffer from a cold that had been going around the bus. Today it hit with a vengeance and while at San Gimignano I bought a box of Kleenex to relieve the suffering from the running nose. Sounds like a commercial for some decongestant doesn't it.

San Gimignano is called the Manhattan of Tuscany. This is because it still has 13 of it's noble towers giving it a bit of a skyscraper look. At one time there were as many 72 of these towers.
The main thing we visited here was a church called Duomo Collrgiata o Santa Maria Assunta. For what ever reason, I didn't take a picture of this church. It wasn't much from the outside. Inside it was covered with paints and frescoes.
There is a museum of medieval Criminology located here which we didn't see but a description I read of it doesn't make it as a spot I would have wanted to see anyway.
The town sits in a very scenic area and is very scenic itself so here are some pictures.

Some of the Tuscan scenery as seen from San Gimignano.
A bit more of the same scene.
The Piazza della Cisterna. There is a 13th century cistern directly behind me. Thus the name.
Some of the remaining towers.
More of the towers.
Another tower and I think that's the cistern of the Piazza della Cisterna mentioned above.
Some of the views as you walk in or out of San Gimignano.
More of the views.
Some more of the Tuscan/Chianti area scenery around the town. The Fortress wall. The main entrance is just to the right of the picture.

This three image combination shows ever more of the beautiful scenery around the town.

With the rain and my cold and all, Siena really got short changed in the picture department. Siena's style is mainly what's called Italian Gothic. Nothing large is allowed to enter Siena so our bus had to park quite some distance away and we had to walk (in the rain most of the time) to get to it. The Duomo has special exhibitions from time to time that relate to the works of art inlaid in the floor. One was going on while we were there and the cost to enter it wasn't worth it. Even tour director Alison said that. Siena is best known now for The Palio. This is a horse race around the Piazza del Campo. It's a big festival held July 2nd each year and is taken very seriously by the locals. Here are the few pictures there are.

The Duomo from outside the city gates with tour director Alison in the foreground.
The facade of the Duomo
A view showing the entire Duomo.
A wet scene of Siena.
I believe this is the city hall of Siena. It's on one side of the Piazza del Campo. The Piazza was just too large to get good pictures of. The rain didn't help either.

There seemed to be great relief when we left Siena. Not too much further along the autostrada things cleared and it was sunny with a few clouds the rest of the way into Rome. We arrived back at the Hotel Mediterrano in Rome around 5:00 just got settled in and then headed out to the Trevi Fountain and the Papa Rex Restaurant. Here is the final map of the tour.

So here are the final images of Italy.

The central section of the Trevi Fountain. just too big to get in one shot. The area around the Trevi fountain with our group and tour director Alison.
Lloyd and Paula at the fountain.

This three picture combination shows the crowd of people there at 7:00 in the evening.
The white section at the far right is caused by the images being merged not lining up correctly.

The Papa Rex restaurant was just in behind The Vatican and we had to drive up this street to reach it. Whoever allowed the installation of those two billboards there should be shot in my opinion.
When you enter the restaurant you get you picture taken with this gladiator. Well at least it proved I was there.
This restaurants version of the Italian Tenor and tour director Alison.
Everybody wishing everybody a fond fair well.

This concludes the Grand Tour of Italy & Sicily except for getting to the airport tomorrow morning. By the end of tomorrow I'm in London, England.

On to day 17.

Originally Created: February 7th, 2004
Final Edit: February 18, 2004 4:56 PM