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Italy & Sicily Trip Pictures (Page 1 of 4) from Sept. 7 to Oct. 05, 2007

Due to the many places we visited, we have separated Italy into four (4) picture pages, consisting of:
Italy Photos Page 1: Northern Italy including Milan, Ferrari Museum, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Siena and Monteriggioni.
Italy Photos Page 2: Rome
Italy Photos Page 3: Southern Italy including Amalfi Coast, Capri, Pompeii, Paestum, Metaponto, Matera & Alberobello to Reggio di Calabria
Italy Photos Page 4: Sicily
To proceed to Italy Journal.

Route through ITALY & SICILY. Covered 5500km from Germany to the Ferry Port in Sicily on the motorcycles and an additional 2450km in the Car.

Sept. 07, 2007. Past the Toll Booth by Innsbruck.

Brenners Pass. We received an unexpected early snow fall.

Snow in all elevations higher than 800m.

Randy & Michelle bundled up for the cold weather. We turn off the Autobahn after Brenner Pass in Italy.

View from the top of JAUFENPASS (2500m). Look close and one can see Randy & Michelle on the BMW making their way up.

More snow on the pass, but it is clearing.

Randy & Michelle first experience of riding in the Alps.

Just a bit on the cold side. Jaufenpass.

Scenary on our way to Merano.

A long day from Munich to Lake Como and a much needed rest on the side of the road.

Sept. 08, 2007. After setting up camp at Lake Como we ride into MILAN for the day. Our first stop is the %u201CLast Supper" Painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Santa Maria delle Grazie.

We all had missed to read the fine print in the travel book....

... We arrive at the church only to be told "SOLD OUT"...

... Booking is compulsory up to 60 days in advance.

And here is a picture of a picture as we couldn't see the real thing.

Instead we visited the interior of the Santa Maria delle Grazie.

We continue to the centre of Milan to the PIAZZA DEL DUOMO.

As it is still early the Piazza is pretty empty.

From here we take a stroll through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, ...

... Milans' famous shopping arcade...

... too expensive for our budget, but still fun to look and shake your head at some of these prices.

The Milan C-Train.

Every corner we turn there are statues (seen here Leonardo da Vinci)...

...churches and ...

..more statues.

No visit to Milan is complete without seeing the famous Gothic Duomo.

Its roof has 135 spires and...

... some come with life size statues.

The construction of the church was started in the 14th Century...

... and not completed for another 400 years.

The Gothic Church is one of the largest in the world.

The detail on the statues is amazing.

One last picture of a beautiful site.

We attend a ceremony inside the Church.

An example of one of the many huge stained glass windows.

Our campsite on Lake Como.

Sept. 09, 2007. From Milan to Modena and the Ferrari Museum.


No visit to Italy is complete until one visits the Ferrari Gallery.

Some of the Ferrari production history that can be seen here are the 125 S (first car built)... the Enzo Ferrari (the only road-going Formula 1 produced)

The boys were in heaven...

Ferrari Enzo

Enzo Ferrari once said "the best Ferrari is the one we still haven't made".

From Modena, we head over Parma to the coast and CINQUE TERRE.

We set up camp in Lavento.

Sept. 10, 2007. A great day lies ahead. Leaving Lavento on the train and ....

... heading to Monterosso al Mare.

From MONTEROSSO AL MARE our hike along the ancient footpath of the Cinque Terre begins (9kms).

Our first stop is the Piazza of the village.

Local Transportation.

In Monterosso we visited the San Giovanni Battista with its Genoese facade in black and white stripes.

The Romanesque church facade has a beautiful rosette.

At first we thought that the church was painted black and white, but...

...actual black and white stone was used in the construction to give the appearance.

The beach of Monterosso al Mars.

The ancient footpath between each village winds its way through steep terraces...

...sloping down to the sea, held by over 7000km of dry stone walling, ...

... cleverly built without any kind of cement.

The views are truly breathtaking.

Our first view of VERNAZZA.

We both wear our camelbaks for the hike.

The terraces are cultivated as vineyards. Cinque Terre is a recognized Unesco "Mankind's World Heritage" Site.

Vernazza has a picturesque habour with multi-colored little fishing boats lining the dock.

Strolling through the small alleyways.

The church in Vernazza has a unique octagonal bell tower and is the only one built on the sea.

Inside the church and Randy appearing in the door.

We also decide to climb the look-out tower ....

...of the Castello Doria in Vernazza for a rewarding view.

A look back onto Vernazza as we continue our hike along the path.

The next village is 4km away and it seemed only uphill climbing through terraced vineyards.

CORNIGLIA is the only village that is removed from the sea and perched at the pinnacle of rocky terraces.

We take our lunch in front of ...

...the San Pietro church.

The stretch from Corniglia to Manarola is only 1km and more traveled.

Us with the village of MANAROLA in the background.

It is hard to pick your favorite village as each one has its own charm in a beautiful setting.

Manarola and Riomaggiore are linked by the famous via dell Amore (Lovers Lane).

RIOMAGGIORE again is made for postcards.

Our reward - Italian Ice Cream (Gelato).

We climb the 546 steps (counted by Randy and Mike) to the castle for a Panoramic view.


We ended our day by taking the boat back to Levanto... (Riomaggiore)

...viewing each village one last time from the sea as the sun sets.


Returning to our base - Levanto.

Our camp site in Levanto.

Sept. 11, 2007. From Cinque Terre we head south along the coast to PISA.

The Duomo is 12th and 13th Century architecure and ...

... is decorated with Arabic-inspired complex geometric pattern.

Everyone has seen pictures of the leaning tower, ...

... but until we stood only a few feet away from it, ...

... we got a real appreciation to the meaning of 5.4m leaning from vertical.

Maybe a push from Mike will help.

We continue our journey into the heart of Tuscany to SAN GIMIGNANO and set up our camp overlooking the town.

We headed into San Gimignano before sunset and ...

...walked the cobble stone roads between the 13 towers and numerous Piazzas'.

The 12th and 13th Centuries Towers were built by noble families and at its height San Gimignano boosted 72 towers.

We walk up to the castle for a better view of the town and the countryside.

Our first taste of Tuscany.

San Gimignano is also a great place to walk through ...

... late at night when all the tourists have left.

View toward our campsite from town.

Mike cooking supper.

Sept. 12, 2007. We take the motorcycles to the heart of FLORENCE.

Yeap, the GPS coordinates planted us directly in the Piazza di San Giovanni in front of the massive Duomo. We actually were riding on the Piazza, without realizing that we were not allowed to be there.

Mikes' GPS accidentally slips out of his hand and the touch-screen hits the handlebar clamp down, breaking it in numerous places and making it non operative.

We were mesmerized by the Duomo %u2013 SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE.

We decide to climb the Campanile.

The Duomo%u2019s facade is Neo-Gothic marble and ...

... the cathedral is Europe's fourth largest church.

Facade above main entrance.

The Campanile stands 84m high.

View of the rear of the church.

Entrance to the church is free, but ...

...we paid for entry to the older church that lies beneath the Duomo.

The interior of the Dome.

Frescos cover the interior of the Dome.

An ancient church below the current Duomo... was discovered during renovations to the church.

The top of the Campanile gives us an incredible view of Florence ...

...and the top of the dome.

Florence in its full glory.

A maze of roads.

View of the Santa Croce Gothic Church.

More and ...

...more of Florence.

Looking down into the interior of the church from the Dome.

Not satisfied with climbing a million stairs we also head up the stairs to the top of the Brunelleschi's dome.

Walking back down the curved stair case of the dome.

The dome was built without any scaffolding and ...

... the interior of the dome walls display colorful frescos like the Last Judgment by Vasari.

The East Door of the Baptistry was completed by Lorenzo Ghiberti and made out of bronze.

The Baptistry also has decorated ceiling ...

... by many famous Florentines.

... And of course marble floors.

From the Baptistery we head to the Piazza della Signoria.

The Rape of the Sabine Women by Glambologna is displayed in the Loggia dei Lanzi.

The Loggia dei Lanzi is lined with numberous roman statues.

Perseus by Cellini - bronze statue of Perseus beheading Medusa.

A copy of David completed by Michelangelo towers in front of the Palazzo Vecchio (Palace Entrance).

A copy of David.

The original is in a near by museum, were pictures are not allowed.

The statue symbolizes triumph over tyranny.

We cross the river Arno via Ponte Santa Trinita Bridge.

The bridge gives us an excellent view of the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest surviving bridge in the city built in 1345.

It is lined with antique shops and specialized jewelry shops.

A walk across the bridge is a bit of a stampede as you have to make your way through herds of tourists to get back to the heart of Florence.

The Fontana di Nettuno, ...

...Ammannati's fountain of the Roman god surrounded by water nymphs commemorates Tuscan naval victories.

The Piazza della Signoria and its great bell tower.

Santa Croce Gothic Church.

Construction started on this church in 1294.

The church contains tombs and monuments of famous Florentines,...

... such as Michelangelo and Galileo.

Large wooden entrance door.

Sept. 13, 2007. We park the motorcycles outside the walled town of SIENA.

Palazzo Pubblico - Gothic Town Hall completed in 1342 and stands 102m high.

First glimpse of the Siena Duomo.

The town has several of these statues of Romulus and Remus with their wolf mother.

Both Mike and I agree that this was one impressive Duomo.

The church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, Queen and Patron of Siena.

The facade statues are life size and have been replaced by copies.

The originals are in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.

We are lucky, as the marble floor of the church is uncovered every year for only a short period (late August to end of October)

This church is one of the most "over-the-top" churches we had seen besides the Vatican in Rome.

The marble floor sparkels in the light.

Amazing inlaid marble floors.

Two inlays were completed by Michelangelo. Restoration is continuously on-going.

The interior of the Cathedral is overwhelming, ...

... gold plated facades, dark wood Pulpit Panels, and ...

... surmounted by a carved frieze of the popes.

Marble Inlaid designed by Michelangelo.

Entering the Museo dell;Opera del Duomo, we are able to climb to the top to the unfinished nave.

A great view over Siena.

In the distance the Palazzo del Campo can be seen.

As with most churches, a renovation to the current Duomo unveiled a older church below it and some well restored frescos.

Entrance to the Baptistry.

The Baptistery is another beautifully decorated area.


Frescos in the Baptistry.

The Baptismal Font.

A Renaissance font by della Quercia, Ghiberti and Donatello.

Strolling along the Piazza del Campo, ....

...which occupies the site of the old Roman forum.

From Siena we ride to MONTERIGGIONI.

Monteriggioni is a medieval hilltop town built in 1203.

The village is completely encircled by high walls and 14 fortified towers.

In the centre of the village is the Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta.

The place is deserted and perfect for relaxing and of course ice cream.

When we picture Tuscany, Italy, we picture this.

Old Italian houses.

On our return route to the campsite we took the scenic route through Colle Val d'Elsa.