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Published: June 22nd 2012
There has been so much to see here and La Bandita is a good base to explore Tuscan hill towns and also the bigger cities of Siena and Florence. And so it was to Florence we drove yesterday...having decided that would be easier than gettng a train there which would have meant driving to another big city and parking there - so a bit of research on-line about parking places and a vague memory of the city from my previous visit as well as trusty old Sally - and we headed for Piazzale Michelangelo .... perfect free parking and the view from there is the classic view over the Arno . Yes it was hot but the narrow street give some shade and we were lucky to see a Hop on Bus immediatley which would take us down the hill into the city. First stop Sat Croce - memorials of so many famous Italians - Dante, Michelangelo, Rossini and Galileo.. Loved the roof inside - they looked like gilded wooded beams ... after a good time wandering around and gazing at frescoes and golden alter pieces we were out in the beautiful cloisters (and there are loos there if anyone is
going there - alwasy handy to know!!!). Another chapel has many rsotred works of art which were damaged in a massive flood in the 60s... well displayed these were lovely to see up close.
Then its off to Piazza de la Signorelli ( if I get the names wrong -sorry) - with its famous sculplures - Neptune and Michalengelo's David ( well actually its the copy in the Piazza)...lots of tourists there of course and we had to have a gelato there to cool down. In just a day there was no time to go in to galleries or museums - an queues in the heat were looking impossible for the Duomo when we arrived there. But what a colossal building it is and so beautiful with the Dome and the front and Bell Tower - such intricate carving - it's truly a masterpiece.
Next on to Ponte Vecchio - with its jewellry shops lining the bridge - and then we found a ristorante to cool off and have a pizza ... finally a visit to the Boboli Gardens ...where I must say that climbing up the hill and the steps was almost too much for us in the
heat - would that we could have jumped in a fountain....but a rest under a shady tree was all we could hope for.
Back to Sant Croce we picked up the bus again - and had a ride to to the hilltop town of Fiesole with its beautiful villas, cypress trees, olive trees and vines studding the hillside....and back to Piazzale Michaleangelo and our trusty little Fiat 500(called Giorgio!!).
Usually very good with directions -it must have been the heat but I got muddled up with my sense of direction and headed North on the Motorway toward Bologna when I should have been heading South towards Roma!!!Fortunatley Suz was on the ball and we could do a turn around at the next exit only a few kms and get back in the right direction - good thing we didn't have to go miles and miles.
So photos of Firenze for you and also of this lovely guest house we are at.
More to come in next blog.
Love Lynne and Suz. xxx
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