Italy
Piazza Calda

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34 travelers at this place:

  • Day3

    Piazzale Michelangelo

    May 28, 2017 in Italy

    Up on a hill South of the Arno river, you can catch some of the best panoramic views of Florence for free!

    This plaza was constructed in 1869 (when Florence was the capital of Italy!), and is dedicated to the renaissance sculptor Michealangelo. Replicas of his more famous works (including the David) can be found at the summit.

  • Day4

    Florence

    July 26, 2017 in Italy

    Florence is beautiful. The place we're staying in is a building erected in the 12th century, and has a lot of character. While the hostess explained how to run the A/C and operate the locks (in Italian), I read the poorly translated sign and failed to make any sense of it, other than getting a sense of alarm. Laura and I had a good laugh after reading the Italian version, basically saying don't use the a/c and water heater at the same time or it would blow the fuse.

    We went out for dinner and drinks at one of the places Laura's friend Monia recommended, where Laura got along famously with the wait staff. I, on the otherhand, had my glass of wine taken from me (it was meant for another table). We had the bistecca alla fiorentina (T bone the size of my head) and a truffle pasta that was phenomenal. After dinner, we had a quick apéritif and some grappa at a nearby bar.

    Next morning, hit Florence and saw the major landmarks. The piazzale Michaelangelo offered the best view of the city.
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  • Day6

    Florence/Firenze

    October 9, 2017 in Italy

    Traveled here yesterday, checked into lovely room then walked to Accadamia to see statue of David. It is everything it's hyped to be. Toured city by walking, napped, another great meal, Margot's 60th birthday dinner.
    Today we walked and walked, toured an amazing church and one of the paintings was a replica as the original was included in a exhibition. So we went to the exhibition. Paintings we're so detailed and large. Walked and shopped and ate. Quick nap. Then out for dinner and saw the city from up high. Walked 10miles today. Feet are feeling the pain. I think running would be easier. Tomorrow up early to travel to Venice for a week.Read more

  • Day18

    Florence

    June 4, 2016 in Italy

    We got into Florence in the early evening, but the weather was definitely against us because it started pouring as we were unloading the coach and continued until all of the tents were set up and we were all thoroughly soaked. We've encountered rain before, but not to this extent. I'm glad I blew that $2 at the Dollar Store on that 10 meter length of rope to use as a clothes line!

    Apparently the Seine River that runs through Paris has gone up six meters since we were there a little over a week ago (the Louvre and Musée Dorsey are closed) and other areas across that northern part of Europe are also getting hit with fairly substantial rains. It's hard to even fathom a river rising six meters in such a short time with virtually no warning - at least when I've and snow start melting in the spring, there's some level of warning and expectation.

    Angus cooked an amazing meal for everyone of pasta (after all, we are in Italy) with ham and mushrooms in a creamy sauce... It was my favourite meal so far!

    Then, it was off to karaoke for a night of terrible singing voices and drinks by the litre at the Red Garter Karaoke Bar! I helped out with Wonderwall by Oasis with some of my new Aussie friends, and was up on stage again doing Ice Ice Baby for the crew... Great times had by all that night, but more than a few of the group were wishing they'd paced themselves better with the litre cocktails. Feeling that way doesn't appeal to me especially when there's so much I want, and need, to be fresh for the next day.

    We kicked off our full day in Florence at Leonardo's Leather for a talk about leather workmanship, types, spotting fakes (labels and smell can be easily faked, while uniform look isn't very likely for real leather), etc. Of course, there's also opportunity for purchases... I bought a couple of nice belts and a small card sleeve/wallet.
    Tax is automatically included, but can be taken off for non-European residents when purchases total more than €155, so a few of us combined purchases to capitalize on the savings! Apparently I'll have to jump through some hoops to have UK Customs stamp something, but definitely worth a shot (the tax in Italy is over 20%).

    Next, we were taken on a walking tour by Martina, our local guide, to see some of the big sites and get some history - including the rationale for Michaelangelo sculpting the statue of David as a symbol for Florence... It was always an underdog and faced great adversity over the years, but still flourished! Think David versus Goliath.

    After the walking tour, it was free time for the afternoon, I knew that David at the Academia Museum was my number one, so a few of us were advised to see about getting a "reserved time slot" to avoid the lineup that would likely mean a two hour wait. Unfortunately, the next available reservation was three days away, buy we decided to walk over to Academia anyway to check things out... The regular lineup was huge, but we bought "skip the line" tickets out front for €22 each (reservation is usually €16.50; regular lineup is usually €12.50). It looks like the woman we bought from simply buys up reservation slots and sells them at a substantial premium, but we went right in and out was absolutely, 100% worth it!

    That night, we went for a terrific dinner at Angus's favourite restaurant - Vecchio. I definitely didn't go hungry... Antipasto, pasta, beef/chicken (I ordered the beef and tried the chicken), tiramisu, and lemoncello! All in all, a great meal with great friends around! On the way to dinner, we stopped for a professionally done group photo overlooking the city just before the sun started to go down.

    After dinner, we walked to a club called Space, where we had a reservation for the entire group. Another few Contiki groups were in town too, so they were there too. I assume the club probably gives Contiki a kickback to bring their groups there because it wasn't anything overly special or different than most clubs... Loud music, dance floor, and high priced drinks. An interesting thing is that they use a card system for payment - you receive a card upon entry (don't lose it, or it'll cost you €50), you can then use that card to purchase drinks at the bar (once your card has been used for 4 drinks, you need to clear that tab and start a new card); when you're ready to leave, you must return your card (paying any outstanding tab) and receive an "exit ticket". About half the group, including me, were back at the campsite by 1am, while the remainder barely beat sunrise.

    Off to Rome in the morning!
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  • Day8

    Florenz III

    April 17 in Italy

    Nach dem Frühstück ging es nomml kurz in die Altstadt zum Dom. Da wir gestern keine Lust hatten, uns bei praller Sonne und Hitze in die riesige Schlange anzustellen und heute auch nicht, haben wir uns schlicht und ergreifend vor einer Schulklasse reingedrängelt und gedacht, denen ist eh Wurscht und stört nicht.
    Der Dom war innen recht schlicht eingerichtet, hübsche Kuppel und als viertgrößte Kirche Europas auch entsprechend dimensioniert, 3h hätten wir uns dafür aber nicht anstellen wollen. Also alles richtig gemacht mit der Vordrängelei.
    Danach gings dann noch zum Piazzole Michelangelo um das Panorame über die ganze Stadt zu sehen. Sehr schön, überraschend wenig überlaufen und dank wieder besten Wetter auch weite Sicht gehabt.
    Danach ging‘s dann auf gen Norden Richtung Heimat.
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  • Day39

    Monaco

    September 19, 2017 in Italy

    St Paul was a wonderful place I really got in to the feel of the ass of the place it's hard to describe unless u get there...... travelled via Nice to a small town called esk. We was supposed to go on a perfume making tour which was more of a sales pitch than anything else I chose to go for a ride in a Ferrari for 15 minutes it was f****** awesome. I should have taken a 30 minute trip. Wondered up to the coffee shop afterwards and had the best chocolate eclair I've ever eaten. Wish I could go back for one now. From there to Monaco we went to the old city I wondered about and visited Grace Kelly's too. Then for dinner down with the snobs in the marina. A good night. Heading home lights singing songs over the radio late night full stopRead more

  • Day39

    To Florence

    September 19, 2017 in Italy

    Travelled along so spectacular scenery through over 100 tunnels along the coast small towns they decide terraced landscape. All the photos are on the big camera so nothing much to show here until I give home however extremely ragged and beautiful Scenic Italian Alps like nothing I've seen I can't imagine how are the Alps in Switzerland will be for me full stop Tuscany is where I'm at now and I see why people live on about it it is picturesque farm land surrounded by mountains. Looking forward to exploring Florence tomorrow. Oh I forgot..... Leaning Tower of Pisa today!!! And the smallest bathroom I've had it's weird. I'm very tired now in good spirits. Big day tomorrow apparentlyRead more

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Piazza Calda

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