Florence and Tuscany

Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Where I stayed
Marina de Grossetto

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

3rd-5th August

Its Mandy hear, I'm giving Pete a rest as we have a few blogs to get through.

We planned to go to Rome and the Amalfi Coast near Naples but after the craziness of Cinque Terre and Grossetto we decided to head towards Florence and spend a few days there.

On the way there I received some sad news that my Poppy had passed away suddenly which came as quite a shock. We decided we needed some time alone and spent 3 nights in a Hotel Ibis just outside Florence, where we had internet connection and could feel a bit closer to home at this time.

We set off for Florence the next day and found that they have a road system all of there own. Hardly any directional signs, few lane markings and cars going in all directions. The underground public car park was a bit different as well. You leave your keys with them and they stack your car on a shelf on top of another car and then retrieve it when you come back.

Pete did a new record today, he had 3 different pizzas, (only a slab each time, not a whole pizza) one for morning tea, one for lunch and then shared mine for afternoon tea. So he now needs a day off from eating pizzas.

We spent the morning wandering around taking in the sights. Piazza del Duomo, one of the worlds largest cathedrals, Ponte Vecchio, a famous 14th century bridge, Michelangelo's David, which turned out to be a copy, so we called him Michelangelo's Kev.(David's evil twin) and finding the smaller narrow alleys that the large tourist numbers bypass. It's amazing how fast you can find solitude when you venture down one or two streets off the main tourist trail.

It was good to have contact with home via "skype" with Pete's brother's family, as well as seeing Mum and Bob who finally got round to installing skype and their webcam. Now all we need is Chris and Sam to get online so we can see their kids....

We had barely seen any of the legendary Tuscan countryside so we headed for the hills the following day. We drove north west from Florence up one of the many tourist drives (the green one's on our map) up winding roads through the hills and past many small villages. We stopped to have brunch of bacon and eggs in a park by the roadside. When we were cooking we noticed people carrying empty water bottles up a path towards a narrow gorge where a creek was flowing down, then returning soon with full bottles. We went up to investigate and found a fresh water source fed by underground springs. We also found a great spot for me to record my video message that we later emailed to mum to be played at Poppy's funeral. Although I couldn't be there I still wanted to be involved.

It has been nice to have a few comforts for a few days but now it's time to get feral again and get stuck back into camping as we head to Venice...
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