Posted by: Turkadactyl | November 14, 2008

Italy- Siena and Radiohead (Photo Update December 30)

I am in an internet cafe typing away and listening to Radiohead on YouTube.  I missed Radioheads world tour so I will take this as a consolation.  It appears that winter is now catching up to Italy.  We have enjoyed amild winter up until a couple of days ago.  For a Nelson ha ha moment we have no snow, ha ha.

The language barrier is tough.  We have been fortunate on a couple of occasions to have people walk by and act as a translator for us.  I really wished I paid more attention in high school French and kept up with my German.

So I have commented on the amount of statues and reverence Catholics have over saints and popes.  Siena is a community that is in its own mold.  Mrs. Turkadactyl and I have visited a few churches here at most statues and paintings have Jesus as the central focus.  There is something else I have noticed in the paintings in Senna’s churches.  A lot of them depict a lot of violence.  I have not seem violence depicted in Catholic paintings before.  Either I have not seen a lot of paintings or Sienna marches to its own beat.

To get an idea of Sienna here are some YouTube videos.  I wish these were my own but since I cannot upload I have resorted to other peoples work.  The first one is in Italian of the Sienna Palio which happens one day in July and the other August 16.

Here is how the Piazza Del Campo looks the other 363 days of the year.

Our hotel is a one minute walk away from Piazza del Campo.  Siena is a University city.  There are students everywhere and many of them are international.  There is a lot of life in the downtown core.  Pedestrians share the streets with vehicles.  The pizza is very good here.  It seems the further we travel away from Rome the better the pizza becomes.

I have arrived the exciting part of Ambrose’s D-Day.  He is now going into detail of the oral accounts of the infantry landings on the beaches.  I am presently on the US secotr Omaha beach, which was the bloodiest of the five beaches on June 6,1944.  Based on the oral accounts given to Ambrose Saving Private Ryan is a PG rating compared what the soldiers, who survived that day, have shared.  I had to stop reading a few times to let the reading sink in.  No wonder veterans of the second world war do not want to talk about what they saw.

The other D-Day sites I saw were Longues-Sur-Mer and L’Memorial de Caen.

Here is a video of Point du Hoc.  The Air Force and Navy bombarded the German battery before the US Rangers climbed the cliffs and stormed the area.  Reserves were cut off and the US and German soldiers both ran out of ammo that they had to engage in hand to hand fighting.  A lot of the German betteries alog the Atlantic wall were 2-3 metres thick of reinforced steel and concrete.  Most survived the bombings.  The ear drums of the Germans inside the batteries, however, did not survive.


I look forward to sharing my own material when I get home.  I will certainly update the Roost with my own pictures.  Let us not forget the bravery and sacrifice of the young soldiers of WWI and II.

Pictures of Sienna:

Mrs. Turkadactyl looking out from Casa di Saint Catarina.

Mrs. Turkadactyl looking out from Casa di Saint Catarina.


Sienna from Santa Domenica

Sienna from Santa Domenica


Street of Sienna

Street of Sienna

Duomo.  This church, or most likely a replica on set, was used in the opening scene in the latest James Bond movie Quantam of Solace.

Duomo. This church, or most likely a replica on set, was used in the opening scene in the latest James Bond movie Quantam of Solace.











Piazza del campo.  This is the piazza where the big race happens in July and August.

Piazza del campo. This is the piazza where the Sienna Palio happens in July and August.


Snuggles hanging out at Piazza del Campo.

Snuggles hanging out at Piazza del Campo.

Piazza del Campo

Piazza del Campo

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