Blogs from Tuscany, Italy, Europe


Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Fiesole January 23rd 2020

One thing I really like to do when I’m waiting for public transport is to read the names of the other stops on my bus route and find the English translation for the Italian words I don’t know. I do this before I get on the bus, and then if the journey is boring, at each stop I can imagine why it was given a certain name, so for example one stop was called ‘mille passavanti’ which in English means ‘’a thousand passages.’ Then, when the bus stopped at ‘mille passavanti’, although the place was very non-descript I could imagine a thousand different coloured passages, some going up to the sky, some on ground level, and some going down into tunnels. I did this with every stop, and I managed to turn a 30 minute dull ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Fiesole January 23rd 2020

The Archaeological Area, which covers a green surface area of approximately 3 hectares, includes the remains of a Roman theatre, an Etruscan-Roman temple and Roman baths. The presence of Etruscans in Fiesole is noted from the eighth-seventh century by a small sanctuary that was later enlarged, during the fourth century, when the city was surrounded by walls. At the start of the first century BC, when the Romans took power, they began by starting construction of a new, more monumental temple, and other buildings such as the theatre and the baths, which transformed the Etruscan city of Fiesole into a Roman city. These buildings began to decay and deteriorate from the fourth century when the city entered a grave crisis that continued during the sixth century when Fiesole was involved in the Gothic war. The Lombards ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Fiesole January 23rd 2020

L’area archeologica, che si estende su una superficie verde di circa 3 ettari, comprende i resti di un teatro romano, di un tempio etrusco/ romano e delle terme romane. La presenza etrusca a Fiesole è attestata fin dall’VIII-VII secolo a.C. quando la città si recinse di poderose mura. Agli inizi del I secolo a.C. con la conquista romana, si dette il via alla costruzione di un nuovo tempio, più monumentale del precendente, di edifici, quali il teatro e le terme, che trasformarono la Fiesole etrusca in città romana. Questi edifici caddero progressivamente in rovina a partire dal IV secolo d.C quando la città entrò in una grave crisi che continuò nel corso del VI secolo d.C. con Fiesole coinvolta nella guerra greco/gotica. Alla fine del VI secolo d.C. Fiesole fu occupata dai Longobardi. ... read more

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 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 » Lucca October 22nd 2019

We made it this time! It was the one place on our 'want to do list' while in Florence. Caught the bus that goes straight past our door, DD Lucca €9ea one way. An hour drive on the toll motorway. Not so many cars due to the tolls but plenty of trucks. Checked the weather before & expecting 28°😎. Lucca is located on the fertile plains of the Serchio River. We travelled past many plant nurseries on the way into greater Lucca. It is well known for it's pretty old town inside some well maintained Renaissance City Walls. There is evidence of a settlement in 3rd BC called Luk...meaning marsh & of course giving the city it's name. The Rampart has 12 bastions & since there was no military importance anymore became a tree lined promenade ... read more
From the wall looking into the city
From the City wall
The wall itself

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

Europe » Italy » Tuscany October 20th 2019

We're getting lazy now....11am before we hit the pavement.. what is really great is that we are within walking distance of accessible, no buses or automobiles required here! And so it was to the Palazzo Strozzi first up...up, down, up the pavements, down the pavements, side step, back step, doorway step, road glad we were not here in July we probably would have just been in a jamb fullstop!!! saw a couple of people trip their ankles on the uneven paving stones....hence our technique of road use for walking when possible...look out for the scooters & those 3 wheel vehicles....AND especially the no noise electric cars! Onto Santa Croce 1294-1385 Gothic style 'Temple of the Italian Glories'...buried here are Michaelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Ghiberti, Bartolini... It is the largest Franciscan church in the world. Many ... read more
Santa Maria Novella
Marble facade of Santa Croce
Palazzo Strozzi

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 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 chat! ... read more
Come into my shop..
Three wheels

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