Saint Bartholomew Flayed

Video blog of the sculpture St Bartholomew Flayed

The following video clip shows the sculpture “Saint Bartholomew Flayed” in Milan Cathedral.

The sculpture was finished in 1562 by Marco d’Agrate. Its one of the stunning piece among many famous artworks in the cathedral. Its visceral yet calm posture is a testament to early days of the Christian faith. The saint shows his flayed skin thrown over his shoulders like a stole.

According to tradition, Saint Bartholomew was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. He travelled to India and Armenia to preach the word of God. He was brutally executed in Armenia.

Lake Como

Exploring beautiful lake como

We took a boat trip on the beautiful lake Como in the fall of 2017. The lake is located in the Northern part of Italy in the Lombardy region.

Our trip started from the picturesque city of Como, Italy. We arrived there on an early morning bus trip from Milan. The city itself has a history dating back to Roman times. It is also the starting point for most trips on the lake due to many available ferries that provides hop-on hop-off service to many towns around the lake.

Notable sites around the lake includes the beautiful hillside town of Tavernola, celebrity houses like those of George Clooney and Madonna, the gorgeous villa and terrace used in the Star Wars movie and the lovely town of Bellagio with its charming gardens.

We took the below pictures as we explored the lake from the comfort of our boat while enjoying an Italian lunch with dessert and wine – all for under 20 Euros!

In my other blogs under Lombardy, I will have more details of the individual sites around the lake. Click on this link – Lake Como Tour to see a YouTube video clip of the trip.

Hope you enjoy the video and pics and get to visit there as well!

Florence in pictures

We spent a few days in Florence during our 2017 Italy trip. Below are some pictures we took that highlights this beautiful city. Check out my other blogs about Tuscany for details on some of these sights.

Florence historic city center at night

Hall of the Five Hundred (Palazzo Vecchio)

Italian breakfast at a Florentine cafe

Palazzo Vecchio

Statues at Plaza del Signoria

A fresco inside the Medici residence

Florence viewed from the Duomo

The Florence Duomo

“Sabine Woman” (Academia Gallery)

Michelangelo’s “David” (Academia Gallery)

Vassari’s painting of Dante’s inferno

San Giminano

Our trip through Tuscan countryside.

Our trip to rural Tuscany in 2017 included a day long tour through Pisa, San Giminano and Siena. The trip was arranged through Viator and included a traditional lunch at an Agro Turismo affiliated Tuscan firm.

Our guide was informative and prepared us before each site with brief background history as we travelled through the Tuscan countryside in a comfortable bus.

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in Siena, Tuscany. Its located in north-central Italy, so it was a natural choice for a stop in our Tuscany tour. The town is famous for its medieval tower houses. It has a gorgeous hilltop setting and encircling walls that form “an unforgettable skyline”. You can see this in detail in the accompanying video clip of our trip at the end of this blog .

The historic center of San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is also known for saffron, the Golden Ham, and its white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the Vernaccia grape grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area.


In 1199, the city established an independent commune with churches and public buildings. However, rivalries between feuding clans resulted in competing families building tower houses of increasingly higher heights. Towards the end of the Medieval period, there were 72 tower houses, some up to 230 feet tall. Today about a dozen of these towers survived.

On 8 May 1300, San Gimignano hosted the famous poet Dante Alighieri in his role as ambassador of Tuscany. Dante wrote about these towers in his famous work – “Inferno”.

The city flourished until 1348, when the bubonic plague known as Black Death affected all of Europe. About half the townsfolk died. The town submitted to the rule of Florence. There was little subsequent development, and San Gimignano remained preserved in its medieval state until the 19th century, when it was rediscovered by tourists and artisans.

You can view our YouTube clip of this tour by clicking this video link : San Giminano and rural Tuscany .