Cortona – a Place of Under the Tuscan Sun

Well, Cortona is a small village on the hilltop right on the border with umbria – it’s beautiful and extraordinary history. The town is located an hour from Siena, and hour and a half from Florence and an hour from Perugia. This is a delightful hill town which is a living place for Tuscans as well as a tourist destination so it has great characters. It is, of course, the home of Francis Mayes who wrote Under the Tuscan Sun.

Here is the main square of Cortona, piazza della Repubblica.

The steep stairway in Cortona.

Stone stairway in the village.

Inside the village

On our way back from Umbria to Cortona, we’ve found many sunflower fields along the way. Normally you will find these sunflower fields around the full month of July.

I’m a big fan of Tuscany area – I’ve never felt bored to go there šŸ™‚

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La Rocca del Leone (Castiglione del Lago), Perugia, Umbria

Rocca del Leone of Castiglione del Lago is a wonderful building which for centuries has been the most important military settlement placed on the shores of Lake Trasimeno and was formed by a wall with battlements polygonal Guelph , four towers and the triangular keep. It was begun in XII century on the ruins of an earlier fortification destroyed in 1091 by Henry IV ( 1050-1106 ) of Franconia. In 1297 the magistrates of Perugia decided to fortify the town and the next year they decided to build a fortress inside the castle to better defend the inhabitants. The admission fee was 5 Euro each which was included also the Corgna Palace.

It was interesting to see the painted ceilings and walls in the castle and walk around the walls of the fort. The views of Lake Trasimeno from the fort were amazing. This is surely one of the best sights I’ve seen in the area. The fortress is magnificently built and I love that we could walk all the up and along the walls. The walk to the fortress through the narrow walkway is also exciting.

Inside the castle

It’s a long walk but we were happy as we could see the lake and its surrounding as well.

As you can see from my photos – these were taken from the castle while were walking around.

From a narrow and long corridor – you can go to the Corgna Palace or you can come from the main entrance and walk inside the narrow corridor to the castle.

It’s the entrance of the palace

The paintings inside museum.

The museum of the Palazzo della Corgna is situated on the first floor, where there are eight rooms with ā€œaffreschiā€. Made between 1574 and 1590 by a team of painters led by Nicholas Circignani said the Pomarancio, the scenes represent the deeds of Ascanio and various mythological and historical themes. Built from 1563 by incorporating the previous Baglioni palace of the early ā€˜500.

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Varone Waterfall (La Cascata del Varone)

The Varone Waterfall (La Cascata del Varone) is a beautiful place with not only a waterfall, but also a garden with beautiful flowers. It was a great experience for me to see this unique waterfall. It was basically a waterfall that had carved deep slots into the mountain, there were a couple of caves where we were able to see parts of the waterfall’s drops. It’s 10min from Tenno city or Riva del Garda. Enrance fee for adults 5,50ā‚¬.

If you need something to cool you down, is it a nice place to go to but you should take something to cover you from the cold and water drops as the temperature change is quite significant.The waterfall drops of almost 100 metres.

I was very excited to see this big and high waterfall, especially, with the cave which we can enter and feel the water drops and listen the rhyme of waterfall. Absolutely, you might not be able to see it clear because it’s high but you can hear it. Here you can see the erosion of the limestone rock by water over 20,000 years. It’s the first time for me.

As you can see these photos, I was absolutely not able to take photos because it’s quite dark and the water drops – it’s really amazing to hear the water drops.

On the stairs which you can go to see the waterfall from the top and here it’s a photo captioned from the top but it wasn’t that clear.

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The Scaliger Castle of Malcesine, Verona, Italy

The Scaliger Castle of Malcesine (Il Castello Scaligero di Malcesine) is in the province of Verona, region of Veneto,Italy. It’s a long the lake Garda.

The ticket fee: Adult-6 euros, children-3 euros, children under 6 years old-free of charge.

The lower ground floor and the ground floor host the Natural history museum. Through external staircase leads you to the first floor where exhibits and wedding ceremonies are held. The balcony where I took a photo – a popular place for the wedding photo shoot.

These photos are in the middle way going to the top of tower.

Lake Garda, viewed from the castle.

A nice caption šŸ™‚

On my way to the top of tower.

On the top of tower. From there, you can take a very beautiful view through the lake Garda and its surrounding.

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The Floating Piers on Lake Iseo, Italy

It was the first time walking on the floating piers for me, I felt so amazed by what I have seen. It’s only opened for 16 days from 08th June to 3rd July, 2016.Ā A 3-kilometer-long walkway was created as The Floating Piers extend across the water of Lake Iseo, the piers are 16 meters wide and approximately 35 centimeters high with sloping sides. The fabric continues along 2.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. The floating piers is fromĀ Sulzano to Monte Isola (Monte Island) and to the San Paolo island. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to walk until the San Paolo island due to the strong wind and heavy rain so we were asked to walk back. The entrance is Free of Charge, Open 24 hours.Thanks to the Artist Christo and Jeanne-Claude for making it happened šŸ™‚

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Safari Park, Italy

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Safari Park is in Pombia, Piedmont region, northern Italy. It was found in 1976 with the land area of 400,000 square meters. They also have an amusement park too. The ticket costs 17ā‚¬ per person and the ticket for kids over 4 years old costs 12ā‚¬ per person – under 4 years old – free entrance.

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They have many kinds of animals including the 2 white lions – I wasn’t able to capture them.

At amusement park, some are free since they are already included in the ticket price. This one I took it for free.

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Here is theĀ aquarium, it’s quite small but they have many beautiful fishes which I have never seen before.

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They also have some shows.

Many big Dinosaur statues.

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Vigezzo Valley, Italy

We spent our last Sunday there, the Vigezzo Valley,Ā is located in the extreme north-east of Piedmont, a few kilometers from the Swiss border. It is also known as the valley of painters. The Valley is absolutely beautiful, we spent our day walking and walking along the valley up and down – it was a tiring day for me but I was so happy and excited to go.

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Well, I can say that it’s my first time walking on the mountain. I was so excited to see the valley – the lakes are also beautiful as well.

It was one of my dreams to see the flowers on the mountain and took picture like this. It might be funny but I feel so happy šŸ˜€

The return ticket ofĀ funicular costs 12ā‚¬ per person. It took us around 5-7 minutes to arrive on the mountain.

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These photos below taken at Malesco, a village nearby.

 

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The Walls of Avila, Spain

Avila, a World Heritage monument, is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Spain. ItĀ is just nearby Madrid – sometimes it is called theĀ City of Saints and Stones. You might not believe how amazing it is!!! You can see all around the town, the view is beautiful and it’s also a great place to take pictures. It’s too hot while we were walking on the way around but it’s definitely worth it to buy the 4.50ā‚¬ ticket and spend some time up on the wall.

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I was in front of the entrance

The building of this surrounding walls of the city started in 1090- there are 82Ā semicircular towers and 9 gates.

We didn’t access some part as the walls as they were closed for being rebuilt but it was well worth taking a walk around them – they’re very impressive.

Reference

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The Cambodian Coast

Every-time we go to visit Cambodia, my birthplace, we always spend our time staying at the beach in Kep and Sihanoukville more than in the city. Especially we always go to the island near by Sihanoukville.

1. Kep beachĀ 

You can go by bus, Giant Ibis, costs US$9.00 / person for one way – when you arrive their office in Kep, you need to go by tuk tuk or motor taxi or taxi more to get around the beach. Since Kep beach, not many tourists as Sihanoukville so the frequency of transportation is lower. From Phnom Penh to Kep city will take around 2 – 3 hours. For us, we rent a bus for going to KepĀ because we want to stop to see Bokor Mountail, just a long the way to Kep. There is the place for fresh seafood.

Bokor Hillside

Crab marketĀ 

Kep BeachĀ 

Ā 2. SihanoukvilleĀ 

The beaches at Sihanoukville are clean and more tourists – normally I go to Serendipity beach because there are many more restaurants and we can spend our time for dinner along the beach until late night while other beaches there are less tourists so we prefer to go somewhere which have more people during night time.. Ā We go there by bus, Mekong Express – VIP van, costs US$12.00 / person for one way (they have free pick-up and drop off service). Ā It’s around 3 – 4 hours to get Sihanouville.

Koh Rong Samloem IslandĀ 

We spend only one night on Koh Rong Samloem – quite and beautiful island. We go with Party Boat – round trip ticket is US$15 / person including breakfast and buffet lunch.

Koh Rong IslandĀ 

It’s one hour and half more from Koh Rong Samloem, there is a pub place. Many bars, pubs and more tourists. The boat ticket for this island is US$20. They have many kinds of boat ticket price. I go with this one because I like a big boat. But after I went there, I have just found that they have now also have a mixed boat ticket for one day tour like that which costs around the same US$15 -20 including buffet lunch.

 

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Angkor City, Cambodia

Well, all countries always have their own historical temple, castle or other places which have been well-known. So also my country Cambodia, we have many amazing historical temples ā€“ I am going to post the most well-known temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia. You can reach Siem Reap by bus or plane from Phnom Penh (The Capital City now). It will take you around 5 hours to arrive Siem Reap if you go by bus.

Itā€™s free for Cambodian but for foreigners, you need to buy Angkor Pass: One Day Angkor Pass costs US$20, Three days visit per one week validity costs US$40, Seven days visit per one month validity costs US$60. With Angkor Pass, you will be available to use with all the Angkor temples and monuments in Siem Reap area. You can ask hotel where you can buy the pass.

In Cambodia, our currency is Khmer Riel but US$ will be accepted everywhere.

I just share the photos and the place – so for more info or the history of Angkor Wat, you can go to thisĀ Link.

1. Angkor Wat Temple

Itā€™s one of many ancient temples in Cambodia and this temple also appears inside our country flag. The initial design and construction of the temple took place in the first half of the 12th century, during the reign ofĀ Suryavarman IIĀ (ruled 1113 ā€“ c. 1150). Dedicated to Vishnu, it was built as the king’s state temple and capital city.

Angkor Wat during day

Angkor Wat during day

2. Bayon Temple

Bayon Temple was built in the late 12th or early 13th century by KingĀ Jayavarman VII.

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3. Ta Prohm TempleĀ 

Ta Prohm Temple was also built during the reign of Jayavarman VII from the middle 12th to early 13th century.

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4. Bonteay Srey TempleĀ 

Bonteay Srey Temple was made by red sandstone, the construction was began in AD 967.

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