Florence Italy- now with photos Retrospective Journey 2014-2020

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February 5th 2021
Published: February 5th 2021
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Hello everyone, this was part of a 3 month trip through Europe. We started in Venice and ended up in London. We started these blogs after we had already been to Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada. We couldn't upload photos very well (if at all) and mostly just wanted to be able to remember all of our trips. Everyone once in a while someone calls me and asks questions about our travels and I'm always excited to relive them and share our experiences in hopes it will make their trip better. When we first started on these long trips we didn't interact with locals as much as I wish we had. As we got more comfortable being gone 1-2-3-4 months at a time, we also slowed down and savored visiting and sharing a lot more. In later travels, we are in a ton of pictures with locals and they are in ours. We shared ideas insights when we could speak the same language and at other times just laughed, and pointed, and hugged. The world is an amazing place and so much more to see and experience... but for now...a retrospective is the best we can do. When we re-read these adventures it amazes us how much we have forgotten. Every few weeks I'll try to post something from each of the countries we've visited. If you have time to read, come on along, if not.. just delete it ;-)

Jean and Cope

Visiting Florence’s Hometown Boys- Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Fermi, Dante

Florence, Italy. Although there were a great many things to see in Rome, we are so happy to leave the big city and find ourselves two train hours north in lovely Florence-we don’t miss all the traffic and mobs of people at all! The train took us through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We got off the train and dragged our bags about a half-mile to the Piazza Della Indipendenza to the Hotel Caravaggio. (Thank you Claudia for the referral) The sidewalks are uneven and very narrow so it’s always a challenge to move bags all over the city, so we were happy to get to this lovely old hotel with 38 rooms. We had a choice of “view of the Duomo” or a “bathtub”. The bathtub won ;-) it even has jets! We still have a lovely view of the park and hills around Florence.

The first day we headed off to find our walking tour. We were to meet at the “space” between the shops on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. This is the only surviving bridge as the rest of the bridges crossing the Arno River was bombed by the Germans during WWII. Great map-took us right there where we met with 18 other people and our Italian tour guide, Francesca. For the next three hours, we walked and walked and visited the piazzas, small and large, churches (of course) and saw “the David”. This amazing sculpture by Michelangelo was done in his early years and he continued to do magnificent works of art throughout his 89 years, including the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome.

We wish we could put photos up on this blog so that you could see the colors and beauty of Florence but alas you’ll have to come in person if you haven’t already. Note: Alas, we didn't have a computer that would send pictures back then ;-)

Today, we headed to the train station to make sure we could hop a train for Chiusi, while waiting for the train we slipped over to the tiny church of Santa Maria Novella which is right by the train station, a couple of thousand steps later we crossed the Arno River on the Ponte Allegrazie . We stopped and picked up a salami sandwich and our ever trusty Coke Lites in hopes of going to the Boboli Gardens, however, the hot sun and straight uphill climb (at least it seemed that way) did us in so we headed back down to the river to find a spot in a little park for our picnic on a bench.

We have now had two “post office” adventures as we’ve mailed home a few boxes of stuff we didn’t need anymore as well as a few souvenirs that we picked up along the way. There are certain rules about weight and customs which we still aren’t clear on ;-) but between our 6 words of Italian and the postal agents 6 words of English we got the job done ;-) It’s great to be rid of the extra weight in our bags!

Tomorrow we are off to see our friends, Claudia and Gary who live in lovely Pienza.

Ciao from beautiful Florence.

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