Travel – Best of Europe

Travel 50+ sites in Europe in this playlist!

This video blog series is a trip across Europe compiled over a few years. It is also a roadmap for travelling all these sites in a single trip if you have 4-6 weeks available. For details on preparation and a suggested itinerary for such a trip check out this blog .

Places to visit

Eastern Europe and The Alps: We start in Budapest, Hungary and head west visiting Vienna and Salzburg in Austria. Then we travel to Southern Alps visiting Munich, Linderhof and Newscheinstein in picturesque Bavaria, Germany. We then turn North across the Alps to Switzerland visiting Zurich, Basel and the picturesque Rhine river village of Rheinfelden.

Italy: Next we head south to Northern Italy visiting lake Como and Milan before reaching historic Venice by the Adriatic sea. We then crisscross across Italy visiting Florence, Siena, San Giminano and Pisa in sunny Tuscany. Our Italian tour continues west through Genoa and Savona and into Ventigmilia of the Italian Riviera.

Riviera and Provence: Moving onto the French Riviera we visit Nice, Eze, Villafranca and Monaco. Driving further west we explore beautiful French villages and towns of Lacoste, Cavallion, Arles and Avignon ending up in the port city of Marseilles.

Iberia: Their we embark on a cruise exploring the Mediterranean including Barcelona, Spain! Heading deeper into Spain we explore Madrid and the Andalusian cities and villages of Seville, Zahara, Grazalema and Ronda.

Northern Europe: We then fly north to romantic Paris and royal Versailles before ending our journey in London, England!

The video blog

A Walking Tour of Siena, Italy

A video blog of our walking tour in Siena

We visited Siena in the fall of 2017. Siena is a historic city in the picturesque Tuscany region of Italy.

The city center is one of the most well preserved from medieval times. Enjoy the video blog and take a walk with us in Siena!

Michelangelo’s David

We saw David during our visit to Galleria dell’Academia in Florence during Fall 2017.. The line to see World’s most famous sculpture went around the block. We were thankful to have made online reservations in advance. The clip below shows David up close.

David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. Michelangelo created the statue in marble between 1501 and 1504. David is a 5.17-metre (17.0 ft) marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favoured subject in the art of Florence.

Taste of Italy

Italian cuisine in pictures

Here is a collection of pics of the delicious cuisine we experienced on our trip to Italy in Fall of 2017.

Breakfast in Como

Dessert after lunch on a ferry trip

Seafood appetizer at Plaza San Vidal

Dinner in Venice: Pasta in Cuttlefish ink

Brunch by Plaza San Marco, Venice

Tuscan Appetizers at a farm near Siena

Lunch in Milan by the Duomo

Breakfast in Florence by Academia Gallery

Dessert with Coffee by Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

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 .