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31 May 2009

Montepulciano - Southern Gateway


Dare il benvenuto a Montepulciano or Welcome to Montepulciano, a hill-top town in southern Tuscany mostly known for its wine, Montepulciano Vino Nobile, a smooth red wine similar to Cabernet. Very delicious.
Pictured here is the southern gate that's barely wide enough to accommodate the smallest of sub-compacts. If you plan to visit, find parking outside the city walls, it will be less hassle all around.
The world of Montepulciano waits just inside these gates. Want to see more, you'll need to visit here more often. I will take you on a tour inside and up to the city square.
Ciao!

07 April 2009

Palace Les Invalides

Palace Les Invalides—final resting place for Napoleon Bonaparte and family.
Palace Les Invalides—final resting place for Napoleon Bonaparte and family.
Les Invalides has evolved through the years from its original state as a hospital for soldiers when it opened in 1676. It was ordered by Louis XIV about 25 years prior.  Later a chapel, Eglise Sanit-Louis des Invalides, designed by Bruant was completed in 1679 and Louis didn't stop there. He then wanted a private royal chapel, Église du Dôme, which is the gold domed structure in the photograph. Completed in 1708, this edifice was inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and has become one of the defining examples of French Baroque Architecture. Today, it is best known as the final resting place for Napoleon Bonaparte and family.

28 March 2009

Musée du Louvre - Flowers in September!

Imagine springtime in Paris but in September? Well, take a look at the verdant gardens and the brilliance of the flowers in the fall! This is the south wing of the Musée du Louvre taken from Jardin des Tuilerie (Tuilerie Gardens).

26 March 2009

Giotto's Campanile, Florence Duomo

This is Giotto's Campanile adjacent to Santa Maria del Fiore, aka Duomo, in Florence, Italy. It has been standing here since 1333, almost 500 years before the Duomo's exterior design was completed. There's a fascinating view from the top as well. Arrivederci!!!

23 March 2009

Chenonceau

One of my most memorable days in France was our tour to the Loire Valley......what a day it was!! This pic is from Chenonceau and if you can believe it, it is actually the gift shop on the right before crossing over the water to the castle itself. The brilliant contrast of the tower the sky made for a picture perfect moment...captured forever!

The Colors of Tuscany...

Vibrant wildflowers growing along the winding roadways in Tuscany! All content property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

While driving from Florence to Montepulciano, about 2 hours south when you take the back roads...(is there any other way to see Tuscany?) we came upon this one vista of so many along the way, that took my breath away. So colorful and bright was the scenery, the flowers gently swaying in the warm Tuscan breezes, that I had to stop on those wonderfully winding Italian roads, jump out of the car and snap the shutter. This moment just had to be captured forever.

Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres!

A defining characteristic of this edifice that makes it stand out from all the rest, is its two distinct towers, one of Romanesque design and the other Gothic. Some of the most beautiful and stunning stained glass windows adorn this edifice that had a most tumultuous history. This consecrated ground has seen a cathedral of some shape and size since the 4th century and actually, remnants of a merovegian cathedral exist today under the choir. An amazing place not to be missed as you tour through the French countryside.