It began with sunshine and smiles as my family found each other in the small confines of the airport in Florence and ended with shouts and threats seven days later in the same airport in the dark of 5am—when our flight to Frankfurt was cancelled. The shouting and shoving did not come from me because I was so groggy and disoriented I could hardly process the fact that after a wonderful week I was not going home as planned. No, it was the passengers who tried skipping the queue, the business class vs economy travelers agitation and the fact that Lufthansa only had two ticket agents trying to sort out this multi-lingual chaotic mess. By the time we walked away there was quite an altercation between a Canadian woman, a Danish family and an Indian couple. So much for international diplomacy.
After initially being told we could take a bus to Bologna and then catch an Emirates flight to Dubai to get home we were accepted onto an Air France flight, meaning that despite never leaving the airport I have a French stamp on my passport. Vive la France!
But all that is just a preface to the heart of the matter—my body is back in Seattle but my mind is still processing the many sights of Italy so instead of book talk today I thought I’d share some photos of the trip. Hopefully, not so many as to get boring, but enough to give you a sense of some of the history and beauty I got to see.
We visited four cities: Cortona, Arezzo, Siena, and Florence. Siena was the one where we were able to go into the Duomo with a guide. It’s a church, but with all the art it feels like a museum. Everywhere you look there is another masterpiece.
The main facade of the Siena Cathedral, its tower, and the main vaulted ceiling
Just three of the frescos found throughout the Cathedral. These were painted between the 14th and 15th century and yet the colors are still rich and vibrant. The one on the right is Saint Catherine of Siena being canonized by Pope Pius II.
Close-ups of some of the gorgeously detailed painting throughout the Duomo. On the left is the ceiling of the Piccolomini Library, the Dome with its circle of cherubim, and one of the pedentives found above the many arches in the cathedral.
I saw so many other wonderful things last week, but I’ll try and pull myself together by Wednesday and get back to books!
Shannon @ River City Reading says
It looks like you had such an amazing time and I’m so glad you were able to have a nice, relaxing trip!!
It was so much fun- not one book read, which feels really bizarre!
Kate @ booksaremyfavouriteandbest says
Amazing pics! (and soon they will dominate your memories, not your airport experience!).
Lynn @ Smoke & Mirrors says
I love this! No need to return to books just yet, Catherine! I wish to continue living vicariously through you and your travels a bit more. More pictures and reactions to sites seen would be great! And boy, do I ever feel sorry for those two agents! Yikes! That was a bad day at work!! (That makes me feel a bit better about my own work days!) 🙂
Kathy @ Kathy Reads Fiction says
What gorgeous photos! I would love to visit Italy, and it sounds like you have a wonderful adventure.
Eva @ The Paperback Princess says
Did you go into the church and see St Catherine of Siena’s head?? It’s not in the Duomo, it’s in another church. Did you eat everything?? I still find myself daydreaming about my time in Italy – I can’t wait to go back one day.
Sounds like quite the debacle to get back though! Why was your flight cancelled??
No, but I think my brother and his family went. I can’t remember which one it is either.
I ate…and ate…and ate. Oh, and drank wine. And ate.
It was bizarre- bad weather conditions in Frankfurt. Then we heard that Lufthansa was striking- the story kept changing.
Sarah's Book Shelves says
OMG – an actual airport fight?! That’s amazing!! I’m sorry about your travel woes, though. That’s never fun…unless you have a good book with you of course 🙂 And – flying to Dubai to get home?! Wow. I guess less wow given your a West Coaster, though. I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…and the food!!!
I thought about you last night b/c I started watching a Netflix documentary series called The Chefs Table, which profiles one amazing chef/restaurant per episode. Last nights was a chef named Massimo and his restaurant is in Modena, Italy. It’s apparently the #3 restaurant in the world. I wondered if Modena was one of your stops!
We love that series! Sadly, I don’t even know where Modena is, but we talked about it when we saw that episode.
It sounds like a great trip. We went to Sienna and Florence a few years ago — so I am remembering that through your photos. Wonderful!