Published: August 5th 2007July 28th 2007
Florence is beautiful in the morning.
Ciao! It is late Friday evening, and I’m sitting here with Annie, Candace and Kaitlyn. We are having a sweet dessert wine with biscotti. You dip the biscotti in the wine. Ray retired early, as he had too much sun and wine for the day. We just finished a delicious dinner that the girls prepared. We are a bit sad that today is our last day here at the Villa. We had a wonderful time here. The girls really enjoyed getting back to the Villa each evening to take a dip in the pool. The sun does not set until 9:15pm, so you can enjoy the pool until 10:00pm. This evening the girls prepared our appetizers and brought them out to the pool. I relaxed in one of the lawn chairs, sipped wine and watched Annie and Ray and the girls laugh and enjoy the last bit of sun. I wished the moment would not end, but the sun was disappearing fast, so we all had to get in to enjoy the food the girls prepared. I’ve been in Europe for about three weeks and Tuscany is the place where I really felt like I was on a vacation.
Come on Annie you can make it. Only 223 steps left to the top of the Duomo.
been two days since our last blog…I think I left off with our visit to Florence where we visited the Uffizi Gallery. Yesterday we went back to Florence and went straight for the Duomo. This is the Duomos of all Duomos. Upon our arrival, we found two lines to get into the Duomo; one line that was around the building, and the other that was short. We went for the short one, which was actually the line to climb 463 steps to the top of the Duomo. Oh my, you may not know this but I am deathly afraid of heights; and if you read my blog on London, you read that I did not get all the way to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was not because I could not climb, but because I get very weak in the legs, heart races, and I feel a bit dizzy when I’m up too high. I was banking on Annie and Ray not climbing due to it being too strenuous for them…but not to be, as they wanted to climb. Peer pressure prevailed, and there I was climbing 463 steps to the top! I let the girls climb up
The view at the top of the world!
on their own, and I went up with Annie and Ray. It took us 30 minutes, but we did it! The views were amazing. I had to stay close to the wall, and there were times I thought I was going to pass out, but I was proud that I made it to the top. Amazing views, as you can see in the photos.
We finished our afternoon in Florence with a visit to The Accademia which houses Michelangelo’s David. David, David, David….the only guy for me. I took two photos, which was very risky. If caught, I would be fined. I took the photos for the blog, so please take a few minutes to admire each photo.
We then hit San Lorenzo market on the way home and made some great deals. I’ve purchased more items than I have room in my suitcase to pack!
Thursday evening, back at the Villa, we were greeted by chef Simone who taught us how to prepare a meal Tuscany style. Simone also prepared a five course meal for us. I’m not a big clam fan, but Simone’s spaghetti with clams was too good to pass up. Poala and her
The real David. Take your time to admire and appreciate.
mother, who resembles Sophia Lauren, paid us a visit. Thursday evening was full of laughter, good wine, and great company and food.
With the food still in our tummy, we all slept in and ventured out to San Gimignano the next day at 1pm! The drive to San Gimignano is only 30 minutes from our Villa, but somehow I took the wrong turn, and we ended up driving through the hills of Chianti. A wrong turn that turned out to be a treat, as the villas, vineyards, and wineries were something we have never seen. Many of the villas looked like 5 star resorts. My next stay in Tuscany will definitely be in Chianti.
We reached San Gimignano at 3pm. Arriving at 3 turned out to be a good thing, because shops close from 1-3pm; and the main drag is lined with shops specializing in olive oil, wine, pottery, shoes, purses and gelato. If those were closed, the visit to San Gimignano would not have been as special. A little about San Gimignano: San Gimignano is a perfectly preserved medieval town that sits on top of a hill. The town is traffic free. You must park outside the
My favorite view in Florence.
13th century wall. Oh, did I mention the town has 14 medieval towers still standing. At one time they had 60!
Once we were able to pull Annie away from the shops, we had a late lunch in Piazza della Cisterna that is known for its 13th century well. The square has been the center of town since the 9th century. Wow! A short stroll to Piazza del Duomo, where the locals have gathered to play cards and relax in the shade, you get a sense of what it was like in the 13th century. There is a church in the piazza that is known for its frescos of the Old and New Testament. We just loved everything about San Gimignano. The town is well preserved, and the absence of cars gives you a feel that you are back in time. If you find yourself in Tuscany, visit this town. But don’t forget to visit the Torture Chamber museum. A bit dark, but great for teenagers!
We are off to Rome on Saturday. We’ll meet up with Skye and Elisabeth there. We’ll blog again Sunday.
There are more photos below