A Firenze da Paolo
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... The unification of all of the Italian areas only happened in 1876 and during this process Rome was nominated as the capital. Italy has a population of 64 million and people generally consider themselves as coming from their region rather than Italian except when it comes to football.
The Medici family were the first to mint coins in Florence and also sponsored Christopher Columbus.
On the way we also passed mountains of marble. Literally ...
... was a little rushed. We climb down the steps from the wall and hurriedly rush around town taking pictures of the cafes and homes. There are actually people that live here. About 50 in population, how cool would it be to be able to say you live in a fort?
We meet David and the rest of the crew and move on to the next stop the local vineyard for a wine tour. We stop by the road to look at the grapes on the vines. I'm not interested in hearing about the grapes and want to get ...
Sailed in to Livorno and hired private taxi with 4 Texans to Pisa...tried to push the tower straight, but it wouldn't work. Drove on to Florence, just beautiful. Thousands of tourists, but all good fun. Jim didn't want a fig leaf for a "David" pose.
We have had two long drives today so it it will be a quick rest on board before the formal dinner ...
... br> Hilary and Vince- So glad Hilary was OK from her spill! They are heading to Rome and then Cinque Terre on the Italian coast for the next 2 weeks. Can't wait to hear how Hilary does in the Ironman in August...we will be rooting for you!
We took a cab to our hotel for the weekend, Relais Calvacanti, right in the heart of Florence and recommended by my friend Debby. We got settled into the room, and I started feeling hungry ...
... stroll across the Ponte Vecchio because the crowds are so thick there is zero chance of brisk walk. It is quite picturesque, but don't look at the jewellery stores that line the sides of the street, the prices will only make you cry.
On reaching the other side of the river I headed for the Palazzo Pitti, which is an enormous structure, once the home of the Florentine Duchy (including the Medici family) it now hosts ...