Blogs from Florence, Tuscany, Italy, Europe

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Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 27th 2019

It is an hour and a half train ride into Florence, ITALY where the language spoken is Florentine. This city is where opera started in the 16th Century. It is also the birthplace of fashion, which you can still see exists today in the shops. Ponte Vecchio allows for beautiful views. It is the only bridge that was not demolished during WWII. Being Sunday, the area is packed with people, most who are enjoying the delicious food available from many of the markets. Wanting to see Siena, ITALY, it is back on the train for a short ride. The countryside is just like in the movies with rows of vineyards, cypress and stone pine trees, and medieval towns built on hill tops. On arriving in Siena, we purchase two bus tickets, get on a bus, and ... read more
The Baptistery of St John
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Brooklyn Bridge! (Just checking to see if you are reading the captions!)

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 24th 2019

Supposed to rain today...back packs all sorted last night...out by 9.30am to Santa Maria Novella Stazione to beat the rain. 161,000 people a day move through the station. Our high speed train at 10:52 took 90mins to Rome....travelling at times 251kms per hour! 😯😲 didn't feel a thing!! Arriving into Roma Termini Stazione we were armed with our prepurchased metro tickets from our last visit so we were straight onto the A Line metro, 4 stops to San Giovanni's 'Re di Roma'. About 8 roads to choose from to find Via Pinerolo...it was of course the only one unamed! Our host was waiting for us. Alessandro greeted us & showed us around. We chatted for about half an hour (he spoke very good English). A great restful night in a quiet neighbourhood. Friday there is a ... read more
Santa Maria Novella
High speed train
251km per hour!!

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 23rd 2019

Our last day in Florence...a bit nostalgic.. Why go to a Museum when the whole of Florence is a Museum. Art comes out to meet you. The Masters of Art City draws numbers of art minded people. We met a couple from florida yesterday, (he approached us this time :)) She has a degree of sorts in Literature having taught English at Uni level, co-ordinated Tampa teachers to Japan for International Schools. Right into her Art having lived in NY for many years. She does Writing & Art so we chatted for half an hour & exchanged contact details. Many Composers & Artists also lived in Lucca over time. Firenze is a hub of artists from all over the World who want to achieve an extremely high standard of fine art. Like cooking you have to ... read more
A brighter day over the Arno
Top of the Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio jeweller-the boards fold over to shut shop

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 21st 2019

And there we were out earlier today....tried to catch a bus to Lucca on our street....that didn't eventuate so moved to our plan B! An adventurous climb for me however a very pretty walk up (emphasis on up!) on slow mode to San Miniato & David's square. The view over Firenze is just magnificant!! San Miniato 1013-18. It has an adjoining Monastery run by the Olivetans since1373. Can hear them chanting prayer. The pavement in photos dates 1207. The Fresco cycle dates 1387 of saint Benedict. The Monks here make Benedictine Liqueurs, honey & herbal teas. Did you know: liqueurs are historical descendants of herbal medicines which were made as early as the 13th century by Monks. Just some sceneic photos today then back down..(emphasis on down) through some Florence streets.... read more
Santa Maria Novella
Shop of replica statues
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Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 19th 2019

Fabulous Florence...we return! It has been a little while since our last visit. Not alot has changed in this grand old city. Home of the Masters of Art! There is a new tram system since we were here last. Much like Nice but on a very small scale compared. Much of a sleep in after Yesterdays' effort...I'm sure we snored the whole five floor apartment awake!! We stocked up our food cupboard yesterday evening, after our arrival, at the Esselunga Supermache which we found not far down the road with the guidance of a local senior citizen who was returning with her Esselunga shopping bag.....you know you are close when you see people carrying supermarket bags. They love to chat...she had to put her bags down so she could chat with her hands.....no hands no chat! ... read more
Come into my shop..
Three wheels
Bracelets

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence September 7th 2019

We spent our last day in Paris exploring the Luxembourg Gardens and walking the shops in the Latin Quarter. We flew from Paris to Florence Friday evening. We started our day today touring the Boboli Gardens in Florence or as the Italians say Firenze.The Boboli gardens were built by the Medici family grand dukes in the 1600‘s.The gardens are home to a collection of sculptures with some Roman antiquities.We attended mass at the Duomo and toured the cathedral after mass. The Duomo was started during the 13th century and finished in the 19th century Over 600 years to build. The fresco‘s of the last judgement inside the dome painted from 1572 to 1579 are stunning. Finished our day at Mattacena Tuscan enjoying some outstanding pasta. We have come to really appreciate the 2 hour dinners.... read more
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Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence June 23rd 2019

Today was another early start day as we left the chaos of Rome for the more peaceful Florence, called Firenza by the locals. After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we were ready to board the bus by 7:45. Today we began the seating chart rotation, where everyone gets a chance at various seating locations on the bus. We ended up at what the driver called the "pole position", right behind him which gave us a great view out the front window. It didn't take long before the craziness of Rome was behind us. We could visibly see the signs of stress disappear from Anna, our Tour Director. She admitted that she really does breath a sigh of relief when leaving Rome, because as she said, "If anything is going to go wrong on a tour, ... read more
On the Road to Florence
Florence - Ponte Vecchio
Florence - Jody at Gelato

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence June 3rd 2019

3/6/2019 – Firenze Gisteren, zondag namiddag verplaatsten we ons van Lucca naar Florence, Firenze dus, naar een nogal prijzige camping even buiten de stad. Vandaag maandag trokken we met de shuttle bus van camping naar het historische centrum van Firenze. We werden gedropt aan een pleintje langs de Arno op zo een 2km van de Ponte Vecchio, dé brug in Firenze die men gezien moet hebben met directe toegang tot het centrum. Wat een stad ! De de Medici's hebben hier goed geboerd. Wat een pracht aan historische gebouwen langs de smalle straatjes van het centrum. Palazzo's en omvangrijke historische gebouwen staan in de weg om de rijk versierde kerken en de Duomo in zijn geheel te fotograferen. Dat is het enige dat we kunnen proberen. Bezoeken kan, maar, mits veel tijd en goesting om de ... read more
Firenze
Firenze
Firenze

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 7th 2018

John was up early and took a long walk to get some pictures of Florence empty. He discovered that there were others who were up, still partying at a number of all night bars near Santa Croce. And of course there were people awaiting the start of the schedule at the train station. John stopped for a coffee and sweet roll at the only café open other than McCafe (MacDonald’s café) across from the station. Upon awaking to her birthday Peggy discovered some fleur de lys earings from Volterrani e Raddi jewelers just down stairs across from our hotel. Peggy’s family has gone there for gifts for generations and John is keeping up the tradition. After breakfast we walked to San Lorenzo Chapel where the Medici are buried. It is an amazing building in that the ... read more
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Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 6th 2018

Up late and out with plans for the Palazzo Vecchio but disappointed as it was totally occupied with a special conference closed to the public. Went to Ors San Michele, the building/church built by the guilds as a meeting place. The church is on the first floor, with meeting rooms on the second and third. What is amazing is that each of the floors has 30+ foot ceilings. Quite beautiful and a real challenge to climb the stairs from floor to floor. Amazing pictures of the major Florentine sights from each of the windows of the upper floors. From Ors San Michele we made our way to the Museo Duomo del Opera, the museum of statuary and other art from the Duomo and Baptistery. We have not been into the museo in a number of years ... read more
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