So much beauty!

Trip Start Sep 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 12, 2011

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Where I stayed
1380 Giardino Toscano
What I did
Visited The Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Saturday, September 24, 2011

A couple of days have passed since my last Blog. We didn't get to the concert as planned but spent the day discovering the area. We are about 4.5 kms from the Santa Maria Novella Stazione, roughly the same distance from the Pitti Palace and Ponte Vecchio, and have all the major Piazza's surrounding us. So much to see and so little time. I'm sure I'm 3" shorter with all the walking!

Yesterday we had a wonderful time visiting the Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. We were in the right place at the right time, because we were part of a very small group who were shown the Royal Apartments in the Pitti Palace, which is not open to everyone. Mum was totally enthralled with the opulence and we were pleased that she managed the day pretty well. She was tired when we finally got home, but she had covered quite an area. 

Mum purchased a lovely silver necklace for herself from the Ponte Vecchio which is one of Florence's most symbolic monuments. The bridge was rebuilt in 1345 atop three large stone arches which supported a wide street lined with small workshops. The shops were originally used by Butchers and Vegetable vendors. However during the late 1500's, Cosimo I objected to the unhygienic conditions resulting from meat and vegetable refuse being thrown into the water, and replaced the food vendors with goldsmiths, which are still operating today (source of information from Sis's book, not verbatim). The jewellery is exquisite - so many variations on a theme and I was surprised to see that the price of leather goods in the area were comparable with prices of leather ware in the markets. In fact, just about everything in Florence is of very high quality and very reasonable prices.

Food in Florence is plentiful, varied and of good quality. We saw a long queue (not unusual in itself) outside Grom waiting to purchase their famous gelateria. Unfortunately, having run out of time, this is something we probably will not get to do, despite Mum's penchant for ice cream.

We have all thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Florence. I'm sure that Florence is my favourite of Italian cities visited so far. We were here for a day and a night last year and I fell in love with it then, promising myself I would return for a longer visit. I would like to return yet again - it is such an elegant city. Italy itself is such a wonderful, interesting, historical and amazing place - I love it.

Well, we are heading out for dinner soon and our passieggiata serale (evening stroll). We've all packed our bags ready for a mid morning departure for Venice. Sis and I are excited about this surprise for Mum; she thinks we're heading off to Siena. Four days in Venice will be very special. We plan on taking a Gondola ride and we will use the water taxi to get around. A visit to St Mark's and The Doge's Palace will be definites for us all, as well as a visit to the gardens. 

Till next time ... ciao.
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