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Archive for March, 2009

March 31st, 2009 by alephnaught

Many Italian tourist attractions are getting more savvy

We’ve been traveling to Italy for years (my first trip was 9 years ago).  We’ve noticed that tourist attractions are getting more savvy. For example, most churches and museums no longer allow photography inside, but they have nice full-color books available for purchase (when they don’t have a book they should allow photography – pet […]

Posted in Travel - Foreign, Tags: ,
Bologna

March 29th, 2009 by alephnaught

Bologna

We got up a bit late; we’re finally road weary, sore and tired – we’re getting a little old for schlepping our stuff from city to city for ten days. Breakfast at the hotel was good, we got cleaned up and headed out. We took a hotel car to the Museo delle Cere Anatomiche, which […]

March 29th, 2009 by alephnaught

A Short History of Siena

Title: A Short History of Siena Author: Giuliano Catoni Paperback ISBN-10: 8877813199 ISBN-13: 978-8877813190 Bought this book in Siena with high hopes; unfortunately, it was mostly a waste of time to read this on the flight home from Italy. The author’s writing style is scattered; at times I thought Catoni would have some unifying themes, […]

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March 29th, 2009 by alephnaught

China Underground

Title: China Underground Author: Zachary Mexico Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Soft Skull Press (March 1, 2009) Language: English ISBN-10: 1593762232 ISBN-13: 978-1593762230 I bought this book for our trip to Italy from an independent LA bookstore. And I loved it!  I want to go to China more now than ever before. There are 16 stories, […]

Posted in Books, Tags: ,

March 28th, 2009 by alephnaught

Heading home

What seems like a theme to this trip, we both had trouble sleeping. But, we got up, had breakfast and headed to the airport. We got there early but they don’t open checkin until 2 hours before the flight. So, we walked over to ticketing and cajoled the guy to give us seats – aisles […]

March 27th, 2009 by alephnaught

The Taqwacores

Title: The Taqwacores Author: Michael Muhammad Knight Paperback: 256 pages Publisher: Soft Skull Press; Revised Edition edition (January 1, 2009) Language: English ISBN-10: 1593762291 ISBN-13: 978-1593762292 This book claims to be about Muslim punks, but in reality its a coming of age, and coming to his personal understanding of Islam, story of a Muslim young […]

Posted in Books,
Leave Siena, arrive in Bologna

March 26th, 2009 by alephnaught

Leave Siena, arrive in Bologna

We got up, ate breakfast, cleaned up, finished packing, and made the train, first to Florence, then changing trains there for Bologna (we got to go first class from Florence to Bologna, which was nice, as there is a basic drink and snack service). By the time we hit Bologna, we were already a bit […]

Siena

March 25th, 2009 by alephnaught

Siena

This is our last day in Siena, and I haven’t mentioned the Palio yet. To understand the Palio, you need to know some things, most importantly that Siena is a city of neighborhoods, called Contrade. Families stay in their Contrade typically their whole lives, and children often marry other members of their Contrade; each Contrade […]

Siena

March 24th, 2009 by alephnaught

Siena

We got up a bit late because we were up a little late last night. We’re both a bit sore and tired (an Italian vacation done Americn-style will do that to you). Breakfast was definitely continental, and very European, featuring cheese and a couple varieties of sliced meat, along with cerial and bread. We wanted […]

Leave Florence, arrive in Siena

March 23rd, 2009 by alephnaught

Leave Florence, arrive in Siena

We got up early, showered, had breakfast, and went to the train station. We got the 10:40A train to Siena. We arrived and found our hotel, Hotel Duomo. Its inexpensive, the rooms are reasonable size with a reasonable, workable bathroom, but no internet access; it turns out wireless doesn’t work well through thick stone walls, […]

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