Fabulous Firenze

Trip Start Jun 23, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Friday, July 20, 2012

Short bus trip from Rome to Firenze (Florence). Hot again today, we walked into the main town squares and were taken to first a gold then a leather shop. Free time for lunch which we had with the Kiwis today, Denise and Wendy. Did manage to do some leather shopping before we met our local guide who took us to the Piazza di San Giovanni, the Piazza del Duomo, the cathedral and Duomo, and then the gallery with the statue of David. Michelangelo was certainly a master and we spent a long time there admiring his work and learning about how he had managed to do it in one huge piece of marble. No photos allowed but as usual that does not stop some people doing what they like, it's annoying! By the time we got to our hotel we were all hot and tired, I think I was still recovering from our two days in Rome. Included dinner was very nice and then we enjoyed a nightcap in the garden with some of the group.
Little later start next day, left at 8 for San Gimignano, a gorgeous little hilltop town in Tuscany. What a gorgeous spot and filled with beautiful leather and ceramic shops. Did a bit of damage to the credit card here! Also has the winner of gelato world championships, OMG the gelato is seriously good here. I had passion fruit and chocolate and it was creamy and tangy and delicious!
Return to Florence where we had four fabulous hours to ourselves. Had lunch with Lawrie and Lyn, then we went shopping. Somehow Kevin had found an ausie selling leather yesterday, who now welcomed him into his shop with a loud "it's my Aussie friend". Lyn bought a jacket, and even though we did not owner Sam took us next to a gold shop with yet another Aussie owner and we got good discounts on some items. We had a lot of fun shopping and caught a taxi back to the hotel for a siesta. I think we should have this system in our summer back home!
Another optional tonight to a local monastery and nearby restaurant. We had a tour through the huge monastery which was built for 12 monks but now has only 4 living there and the oldest is 94 and the youngest is 65. The future of the buildings is uncertain which is a shame because they sit high above Florence and make a startling impact.
The meal was only average but we did enjoy our first T bone steak since leaving home 4 weeks ago! We sat at long tables refectory style and it was not easy to talk. We had more entertainment during the meal with the now familiar piano accordion and singer. Lots of liqueur tasting went on and it was a jovial group on the bus back to the hotel.
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Jeff and Ann on

Great to see that you continue to be in awe of the cities and towns. We have memories of San Giminano and the gelati shop in the square. Your picture of Ponte Vechio in Florence is great.
Simon has returned from Thailand and is looking to go back.
Great game of footy yesterday against the West Coast. We flogged them but Tippet concussed again. Three times in four weeks. Club uncertain of his future.
Keep on keeping on.
Jeff and Ann

Jude on

As I read about beautiful Tuscany.....oooooh the gelati and shops in San Gimigiano.....I thought I might tell you what we are doing as we read this.....driving through picturesque Redhill,with it's beautiful old catholic church
And the rather spiffy blue tennis courts.By old I mean relatively!!Two little cherubs are fast asleep in the back of the ute....we actually let them sit inside the cab....have been to Pirie and around checking out the beautiful rolling green vista.You will be impressed once you get home.Have been with you in spirit as you have bought back memories of wonderful places and fun times.Your photos are great.... You will have fun going back through them when you get home.We didn't get to footy but our boys couldn't take it from Pasky.You will have to extend your trip as I don't want your blog to end.SWB this week at Moonta.....eat your heart out!!!!( jealous??? who?? Me??? ) Take care xxx

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