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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 13, 2014

Up, up, up to San Miniato

Today is Monday and I didn't get my post for Sunday written.  Not too good if I've only been here three days and am behind already!  But Sunday was the day we hiked up hill, up stairs, up, up, up to the beautiful San Miniato church with its wonderful cemetery.  It took quite a while because it's hard not to stop every little bit and see what the Duomo looks like from here.  Oh, and look you can see it from here - what a great view, etc.  So, I'm going to first post pictures of those stops to take pictures of the view as we went up.  Not much to say about them except "this is the view as we went up".  One good way to judge how high up we're getting is by how much more shows up in the foreground of the picture - between where we are and the Duomo.  Incidentally, these were all taken with my phone because I forgot to put my memory card back in my camera.  I was pleasantly surprised with the quality.  You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them and I'll let you know if there's a detail you might want to see. Here we go.

So those four pictures took us to the bottom of the stairs actually leading up to the church.  Quite a trek!  Going on up, we reach the top with the lovely, lovely San Miniato.  Smaller than some but so very pretty and much quieter up high in the hills.

On the left you can see a bit of the monastery building which is just a plain brick building and then attached to the other side of the monastery is the bishop's palace which isn't quite so plain.  I cropped that picture to get a clearer view of the mosaic up under the peak along with a better look at that whole part of the building.

I just took this one interior shot of the church.  It's very beautiful but also very dark in some places and very brightly lit in other places which makes it difficult to get a good photo.  And since I visited there on (I think) my second visit to Florence, I didn't feel compelled to keep trying.
 I liked this view looking through a deep doorway at the long, skinny tree trunks, bright red car and the hills of Tuscany in the background.  Even in a pass-through waiting for your traveling companion to catch up with you, there are lovely views to enjoy.
 Here are the trees once I came out the door...I do love them.
On either side of the stairs and piazza in front of the church are graves both old and newer.  Incidentally, I see the Duomo in the picture on the right.  Can you see it?  So now, you can tell how really high above the city we are.

I explored those side graves for a while and came across this grave which was really interesting.  All the round discs around the base of the statue are basically tombstones - names and dates are printed on each one - the last one being in the l960's if I remember correctly.

Speaking of cemeteries, the last time I visited San Miniato, I knew there were more graves, but I didn't see any way to get to them and was happy with my visit so didn't poke around a lot.  Chris did poke around apparently because at some point he told me he was going back to the other graves.  Well, he wasn't leaving me behind and off we went and I'm here to say that I have never seen such a cemetery in all my life and probably never will.  I'm going to post all those pictures as a separate post just because they deserve their own space.  So right below this post will be the cemetery post.  Hope you enjoy seeing it - I was pretty much blown away by it.


Anonymous said...

Mary Lynne, how exciting to see you back in Italy and with Chris with you. A big hi from Brad and I. Do stop in at the Scuola del Cuoio to say hello to the leather coat I did not buy. And enjoy the Basilica San Croce while you are there. I really enjoyed it.

Lisa in WV

Chinch said...

I'm sure you'll be dismayed but the fact is that you will have to visit Florence one more time before you're put to rest there because your sister and brother-in-law need a tour guide. What a city!! And what a treat to have Chris along -- enjoy, enjoy!! Love, Chinch

January said...

That is a really lovely place! And for how many cars there seem to be parked under those trees, there sure don't seem to be a ton of people, which is good for enjoying and picture-taking :) That view is enough to make one consider joining the monastery, right? And nice photo of Chris!

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