Sorry to all who have been waiting for my first report; I only today discovered that the hotel has internet access. And this keyboard types some bizarre (Italian) characters, so if I accidentally type some accents, forgivè me.

So the first thing to report it that it has been terribly hot the whole time. Today and yesterday it was 30°. Do the math, all you American Farenheit lovers!

Highlights? There have been too many to name. Yesterday and today I had a car and drove about 300 km in total. The car was air conditioned, so I wanted to drive further. I went to Murlo, Montalcino, Bagno Vignoni, Pienza, Trequanda, and Asciano yesterday. Today I went to Monteriggiano, Volterra, and San Gimignano. The fact is, you seen one Tuscan hill town, you seen èm all. No, actually each has itàs own character (I canàt find the apostrophe, so Iàm just gonna use the à, which is where the apostrophe is supposed to be.) But they are all equally quaint and charming, just in slightly different ways: Bagno Vignoni had the hot spring right smack in the middle of the town, Pienza had the best cheese ever, Montalcino wine (wine and cheese are both finding their way back from here to Seattle). Volterra has alabaster, San Gimignano has the towers and the massive amount of tourists. And they were all hot.

Iàve eaten a lot of gelato, trying various flavors. Itàs very refreshing when itàs 30°.

And of course Iàm staying in Siena, which is just wonderful. Iàve had great food, great walks around the city in the evening after it cools down a little, and just enjoying the act of being here. My hotel is spartan, but in a perfect location, and the room is air conditioned, so YAY for that.

Tomorrow Iàm off to Firenze for the weekend. Iàll try to blog at least once from there.

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