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                           San Gimignano, Italy

                     San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany. This hill was the location of a small Etruscan village during the Hellenistic period (200-300 BC) and San Gimignano began its life as a town in the 10 C, being named after the Bishop of Modena, St. Gimignano, who is said to have saved the village from the barbarian hordes

It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers, which may be seen from several kilometres outside the town. Famillies built the towers and the higher the tower the more power it projected.     

 

                              Orvieto, Italy

Orvieto is a city in southwestern Umbria. The site of the city is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost-vertical faces of tuff cliffs that are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone.

The ancient city has been populated since Etruscan times. It was  strategic city because it was high up on a hill. I was annexed by Rome in the third century BC. 

The site of Orvieto was once an Etruscan acropolis.

The Umbrian countryside surrounding Ovieto. (Photo taken from the tower of the Catherdral)

  

The Fortezza dell'Albornoz stands in Piazza Cahen, an area that was once occupied by a temple, known by the Etruscan name of Augurale. The fortress was built by order of the Spanish Cardinal Albornoz on behalf of Pope Innocent VI.

The Cathedral of Orvieto was built in the 14th century. The building was constructed under the orders of Pope Urban IV to commemorate and provide a suitable home for the  Corporal of Bolsena, a miracle which is said to have occurred in 1263 in the nearby town of Bolsena, when a traveling priest who had doubts about the truth of transubstantiation found that his Host was bleeding so much that it stained the altar cloth. The cloth is now stored in the Chapel of the Corporal inside the cathedral.

The Gothic façade of the Orvieto Cathedral is one of the great masterpieces of the Late Middle Ages. The three-gable design is attributed to Maitani, who had clearly undergone some influence by the design scheme for the façade in Tuscan Gothic style of the Siena Cathedral by Giovanni Pisano and the plan for façade of the Florance Cathedral.

             

 

                                 Volterra, Italy

 Volterra, known to the ancient Etruscans as Velathri, to the Romans as Volaterrae. Volterra came under the control of the  Medici family and later followed the history of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

It is also the home of the opera star Andrea Bocelli. In fact here at the ruins the day before shooting a new music video. His mother still lives here.

 The Ancient Roman theater      

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