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Published: August 19th 2008
Our Italian coffee experiences in Florence fell into two categories: either the coffee was fantastic (ensuring several cups were demolished in one sitting), or so appallingly bad that it wasn’t even drinkable. Average coffee wasn’t present. Here’s a lesson for you ... a tourist trap that we unwittingly fell into ... A nice little cafe situated on the edge of the square. We take a seat, and flick through the menu. There’s no coffee listed on the menu, but then the waiter appears and offers a cafe latte/cappuccino/espresso ... ASK THE PRICE FIRST!!
We failed to ask this vital information, and later discovered that our coffees were €4 euro each, and unfortunately they were of the abysmal variety (black drain water)! The Mafioso-mama cafe owner refused to make us a new ones that we could actually drink, and still demanded that we pay up €8 euros for “the view”! After much heated debate (with the help of some poor French customers who served as translators between the loud Italian/English exchange) we left her €5 (for the view - which wasn’t so great anyway), and we were left reeling from our bad coffee experience. You just sort of expect
We’ve both previously been to Rome so decided to head straight to Florence
when our ferry came in from Croatia. We spent a few days in Florence getting a cultural overload from all the museums, churches and galleries, and have now seen enough Renaissance art to last us a lifetime. Michelangelo’s David was amazing though, and since we’d arrived around 5pm we only had to queue for five minutes and pretty much had the gallery to ourselves. This represented a rare accomplishment, as during summertime Europe queues of 2+ hours to all the major sights are common!
On our way to Cinque Terre our train stopped in at Pisa
for about 3 hours which gave us ample time to walk up to the leaning tower, eat our lunch under a tree and be entertained by the hordes of people trying to perfect their leaning-on-the-tower/holding-the-tower-up photo pose.
We hadn’t planned on heading to Cinque Terre, but after meeting one too many travellers who’d come from the region we decided to revise our travel plans and check it out. Cinque Terre
means “five lands” in Italian and has been designated as a UNESCO world heritage site. It's
Ponte Vecchio, Florence
This bridge is lined with jewelery shops
basically five beautiful and colourful fishing villages perched atop cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean sea, connected by a walking track (and scenic train line). The walk between the villages takes about 5 hours and is quite steep in parts, but well worth it for the views. We stayed at the smallest and first village, Riomaggiore
and walked as far as the fourth village Vernazza before the heat and endless steps got the better of us and we traded our trainers for the train!
Onwards to Venice (and hopefully a better coffee situation) ...
Our Route CROATIA: Zadar > ITALY: Ancona (by overnight ferry) > Florence (by train) > Pisa (by train) > Riomaggiore (by train) > Monterosso (by foot) > Riomaggiore (by train)
Tot: 0.534s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 33; qc: 142; dbt: 0.0439s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.7mb