08.05.2015 - 08.05.2015 25 °C
Florence is one of those cities that you visit once but love forever. It might be described as Rome's much prettier and smaller sister! Yes, both have a lovely river, incredible outdoor art everywhere, spectacular churches and the Italian culture of outdoor dining. However, Florence is more quaint and the views from the south viewpoint is breathtaking. You can walk the main part of the city easily and take in some of the Renassaince art that appears around most corners.
We had a reasonably late start to the day. First stop was at Leonardo's Leatherworks for a demonstration and then some shopping. All genuine leather, unlike some of the street vendor products, and beautifully hand crafted.
We enjoyed the company of our walking tour guide, Nico, who toured us through the streets, showing us the 'fake' statue of David outside of City Hall, walking past the statues of other famous Italians outside the Ufuzzi Gallery and then on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, the most iconic view of Forence. It was off to the Duomo to marvel at the beauty of the outside of this masterpiece. There was some pretty excited people when we found out theat .tom Hanks was inside the Baptismal, filming the latest Dan Brown thriller, Inferno! For fans of the book, yes, there is a new film coming out. A good part of the book happens in Florence.
We had a full free afternoon. Some headed off to see the real statue of David, to visit the Ufuzzi Gallery or just explore the streets. One of the really cool and unusual things in Florence is their street sign graffiti. Here is a look at one of them,
A quick stop on the south side of the city for a group photo and we were off to the countryside for our Tusan wine tasting and dinner.
Thanks go out to the SAIT 100 Club for sponsoring thes evening. Il Palagio was the destination and getting there was half the fun. Imagine a coach that takes up most of the small two lane road, twisting and turning. Now imagine oncoming traffic. Our fearless coach driver, Firo handled things very professionally and got us there safely. The hosts took us to their wine cellar where we saw the Chianti Classico up close! The Italian feast consisted of crostini, pecorino cheeses, red pepper jelly and olives served with a refreshing Pinot Grigio. The pasta course of spinach ravioli paired nicely with the Rose and we finished with the meat and salads accompanied by a full bodied Chianti. The meal was topped off with a dessert wine and tart. The ambience of the evening was magical, dining outside under the Tuscan stars. Magnifico!
Last day and night in Italy tomorrow with a visit to Pisa and then on to the scenic Cinque Terre.