S: CAMP GRANDMA Tuscany April 2012
BC: DEPARTED | TUSCANY | APRIL 21st, 2012
1: TUSCANY | ITALY | ARRIVED APRIL 2012 | Walter and Mary Steed; Grant, Diane, Andrew and Caroline Spencer all flew over to Florence to spend a week in Tuscany with Cory, Angela, Phillip, Elizabeth, Mariel and Grace Isakson in April of 2012.
2: The gated entrance to our villa outside of Florence
4: We happened to be in Florence during FREE museum week in April, so we only had to pay for a reservation time. But the entrance to see priceless wonders, like Michelangelo's David, was free.
6: PONTE VECCHIO BRIDGE OVER THE ARNO RIVER in FLORENCE, ITALY
9: Compact umbrellas were well used in between the bits of sunshine | Caroline with her chocolate crepe. Yum!
10: The villa near Florence | The Rustico della Certosa Villa where we stayed all week was outside Florence and up a narrow, windy, hill but it was spacious, lovely and worked well for the 12 of us---once we found it!
12: PISA | Italy | April 2012
13: Cory and Mary stayed below at ground level while the rest of us climbed the leaning tower all the way to the top!
15: Leaning Tower | The views at the top of the tower were beautiful in all directions. Afterwards, we explored the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Camposanto Cemetery as well as visited the expensive pay restroom several times. Then we headed to the nearby ocean beach.
16: Pisa's "Field of Miracles" was impressive though not what any of us expected. It was surrounded by the city and university on all sides. Great for those iconic photos though.
18: Viareggio | Italy
19: Fun at the oceanside. The kids deserved some time in the wind, waves and sand for enduring three straight days of museums, churches and statues. The young girls loved it, got soaked and eventually stripped off their shoes, socks and pants!
21: The following day we headed to the Etruscan town of Volterra to explore an ancient, hill town in Tuscany
22: The Weather changed on us while in Volterra and it started pouring rain. So we headed indoors to a lovely Tuscan lunch, then we split up to see some separate things including the Etruscan Museum, an Alabaster Workshop and the Torture Museum. | VOLTERRA, ITALY
25: Volterra has some unique charms but is rightly named a "hill town." It is known for its alabaster workshops and its Etruscan heritage not to mention the filming of the Twilight movies. | We also took in an overview of the Roman ruins (upper right opposite page). And enjoyed a lovely Tuscan lunch pictured at the table above during the height of the day's downpour.
26: One of the entrance gateways to the town of Volterra near our parked cars
28: Florence American | Cemetery Memorial
30: After the Spencer family departed with Phillip for Venice, the Steeds and Isaksons took a day trip to Siena. It was raining when we arrived but the sun was shining when we left.
33: Siena, Italy | Our day included visiting the Piazza del Campo in the pouring rain, the Duomo (Cathedral) including the Piccolomini Library, shopping, eating gelato and viewing the Church of San Domenico
34: Farewell Tuscany... until next time....