Florence or bust

Trip Start Jun 04, 2012
Trip End Jul 03, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Monday, June 18, 2012

We thought we would head to Florence today.....bad idea!  We began by driving down the tuscan hillside but before we could reach the main highway, we came upon a nasty accident between at truck and a car.  The roads are steep and winding and people in Europe love to pass each other.  Not a good mix.  The road was blocked and were forced to turn around.  We knew we would just get lost if we tried to take a detour, so after a few minutes we turned back around and decided to "wait out" the accident.  We lost nearly a half hour waiting for the police to let us through.  The ambulance took off with somebody in it as we were driving by.  Upsetting to see, but thankful it was not us! 

We have a car, but we have never found it to be pleasant bringing a car into a city, and the older the city, the more unpleasant it is!  We often take public  transportation when we travel, as it's safer and makes the trip more pleasant.  We don't speak a lot of italian (our only words are "mangia mangia" thanks to Noni) and trying to understand public transport is quite confusing.  We waited by the side of a very busy road with the kids.  There was no shoulder and no place to stand as the road immediately went up into a dirt cliff.  We must have just missed the last bus, because we waited there in the hot tuscan sun for 20 minutes while I thought of every possible way we might die on the side of the road.  Finally it came and we got on. We knew it would cost about 8 euros total, but that is all we knew.  We tried to by tickets (I swear) but the driver said we had to get tickets some place else.  He let us on anyways and after a 30 minute ride, we were in the heart of Florence.

It was Monday.  We have not kept track of days here, since we are on vacation.  And after all of our travels, we should  know better than to visit a city in Europe on Monday, yet it came as a complete surprise that ALL of the museums were closed today.  No Uffizi, No accademia and definitely NO DAVID!  The kids were heartbroken.  Little smiles crept up on their faces as they learned of this tragic event!  

It was already nearing noon when we arrived and it seemed to be hotter than yesterday ( though it didn't seem possible yesterday).  We strolled the city and toured the baptismal, cathedral and even climbed the 414 spiral steps to the top of the campanile!   We had some lunch and walked around some more.  We could have bought a small country with the amount of money we spent on cold water.  By 4 pm we decided we would head back on the bus so we could get to the market on time tonight!  We must have walked a mile through the underground mall trying to look for tickets for the bus, but we couldn't find any.  We gave up and stood in line for the bus.  This time the bus stop was located in a safer area, but there was no shade.  At one point we thought our sandals were melting into our feet.  We must have just missed the last bus (again), because we waited nearly 20 minutes in that heat. Our bus eventually came and we hopped on for yet another free ride home!  

The day ended with a bottle of wine, salmon dinner and a jump in the pool!  Glad we are not staying in the city!

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Amy on

Loved the movie, "The Way" and would love to see Campinile. I want to hear all about it.

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