Weekly Photo Challenge: Walls – Part I

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Siena, one of our beloved destinations during our trip to Italy,
is a walled city in Tuscany that has preserved its medieval, gothic appearance.
This World Heritage Site seemed a fitting showcase for this week’s Photo Challenge.

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Surrounded by olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti, Siena is set on three hills,
drawn together by winding alleyways and steep steps.

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It offers a bustling life throughout its streets and squares with its many boutiques and shops, cultural events, theater, and a range of sporting activities.

 

The centre of Siena is accessible primarily on foot.

Cars, other than taxis and police, are prohibited, but motorcycles and scooters are allowed.

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Come back tomorrow for a look at some other walls. Arrivederci!

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My First Anniversary…and Ten Things I Didn’t Know When I Started

 

One year ago today, on New Year’s Eve, 2011, I started this blog, Jennifer’s Journal. And as I mentioned in the very first post, Follow the Yellow Brick Road, I had no idea where my blog would take us. So here is what I found out.

1. I didn’t know I would have the resolve to faithfully post to my blog a little more than once a week on average. WordPress, being the best blogging site – in my opinion – had a lot to do with my enthusiasm.

2. I didn’t know I would be taking my visitors and followers on a pictorial journey of our 2011 trip to Italy and France. Nor did I know that one of these installments,
Scenes From Italy – Part Three: Siena and Florence, Tuscany” would consistently be my most visited post, from all around the world!

3. I hadn’t made plans yet to take a Spring vacation in Florida, with my husband and my daughter and her family. My photo album from that trip,
For the Young, & the Young at Heart: Disney’s Magic Kingdom“, would garner a record of 449 views on May 8th, the most views I had in one day.

4. I wasn’t fully aware of how beautiful it actually is where I live, here in Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland, until I read your lovely comments on my local photographic efforts. 🙂  “Autumn Walk on the East Coast” was a particular favourite.

5. I came to learn how the poems, musings, and photographs of my grandchildren would be a popular subject for many!

6. That goes for the posts of my little cats, Maisie and Vivian, as well. One of them even guest-posted in “Vivian’s View From Here“.

7. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support my blog received, as I was losing my mother. I cannot fully express what a source of comfort those caring comments were, and still are.

8. I didn’t know I was going to publish sixteen of my poems, and that I would be proud of them. 🙂

9. I wasn’t sure (but I am pleased I did) that I would keep my resolution to start writing a novel, and am now starting Chapter Six of the first draft. My post about it, Then You Must Write It, would be one my most popular blog posts, generating many of your comments.

10. Novel writing or not, I love my blog as the vehicle of self-expression it has turned out to be, and I will continue to update it in 2013. Connecting with many of you and making new friends is one of the best advantages of blogging.

So, let me say to all of my followers and visitors from sixty-six countries, a GIANT THANK YOU! And a Happy New Year to you all. 🙂

Scenes From Italy – Part Three: Siena and Florence, Tuscany

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During our week-long stay at the Tuscan villa, we took a couple of day trips to nearby centres of interest.  I have no words to describe the incredible feelings I experienced visiting Siena and Florence.  It comes as no surprise that these cities were named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Siena is a must-see if you want to experience a historical throwback to medieval times.  Famous for all of its culture and art, it is particularly known for the Palio, a traditional horse race that takes place in the Piazza del Campo twice a year.
And of course, Florence, the capital city of Tuscany, was unforgettable.  The birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world due to its artistic and architectural heritage.

Here are some of my favourite shots of the two cities.

Coming soon:  the northern Italian town of Stresa…